2017 was an active year for the Content Creators Coalition. We stretched our wings and, in many new ways, spread the word about matters important to artist rights.
We started off our year with c3 President Melvin Gibbs standing up against the proposed national “Immigrant Ban.” We secured representation in Washington, DC, allowing the organization to have a closer reach into policymaking that will impacts artists.
We produced and launched videos of c3 Member T Bone Burnett speaking about the need to update the DMCA, and the harm caused by big tech monopolies more generally. JJill Sobule also spoke out on these issues. Take a look!
Together we called on Congress to rejects budgetary cuts to organizations that support arts and culture, including the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We spoke out about the need to ensure artists’ access to visas by signing onto a joint statement along with a wide variety of artist organizations throughout the country.
We applauded the reintroduction of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act.
In April, we wrote a letter to Congressional Black Caucus members about H.R. 1695, the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act.” In the letter, we called out opponents of this bill for attempting to recast their anti-creators’ rights goals into a smear campaign against its sponsors and supporters. The letter was read on the floor of the House of Representatives, placed in the Congressional Record, and helped to secure House passge of the legislation. Melvin authored a piece, “Hijacking The Black Media To Undermine Musicians’ Rights” on the same issue.
Throughout the year we hosted an educational series in Nashville, TN. The classes included “Unpacking the DMCA,” and “Unpacking Sync Licensing.” Our DC representatives traveled down to Nashville to participate in c3’s education program “The View from Washington. “
The CLASSICS Act was introduced by Rep. Issa and Rep. Nadler in July. The Bill would resolve uncertainty over the copyright protections afforded to sound recordings made before 1972 by bringing these recordings into the federal copyright system and ensuring that digital transmissions of both pre- and post-1972 recordings are treated uniformly. C3 publicly supported the bill’s introduction and was recognized in the Congressional press release announcing its introduction.
C3 also signed on to a statement applauding the defeat of so-called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” and the importance of expanded health care coverage for musicians.
In August, Melvin and our former Executive Director Jeff Boxer wrote about how Google should stop its attempts to divide and conquer creators and instead should simply Do Better for music creators.
In September, big tech companies and other special interests persuaded members of Congress to introduce H.R. 3350, the “Transparency in Music Licensing and Ownership Act.” C3 released sounded the alarm about how the Bill represents a one-sided approach that would fail to simplify music licensing.
At the Americana Music Festival, C3 hosted an educational panel “Better Laws and a Better Future for Music.” c3 Member Amanda Williams also hosted an educational panel at Americana, “Songpreneurs,” a compelling lesson on the copyright system, and c3 Member Jonathan Taplin spoke about his book at a panel of the same name: “Move Fast and Break Things.”
We released a series of three videos (with two still to come) demonstrating YouTube’s unfairness to artists. The campaign got even more attention when YouTube decided to censor our ads, 24 hours into the campaign.
Melvin‘s Billboard article “Music Creators See Big Tech Earning Billions While ‘Strip-Mining Artists’ Work’” delved into the transfer of wealth from artists to big tech companies
We continued to fight for the CLASSICS Act, organizing a powerful showing of artists support for the bill.