Thanks for joining us for this issue of “Music Worker,” a newsletter by the Content Creators Coalition (c3).
(If you are wondering about the name of this newsletter or its purpose, check out our letter from the inaugural issue.)
First, we are excited to welcome our newest Executive Board member, Maggie Vail, Executive Director of the nonprofit CASH Music!
As an artist and indie label manager, Maggie sees and lives the challenges of the modern music world every day. That unique perspective has helped her lead CASH Music’s efforts to empower artists in the digital age and will help boost c3’s efforts to advocate for music creators and lovers alike. Maggie brings a lot to the table for c3 and we are lucky to have her on board.
Second, we have been busy! As the United States Senate considers the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”), c3 is actively supporting the bill. The songwriter pay reforms and promise of fair royalties for performers who recorded music before 1972 are urgently needed. We joined with MusicAnswers in seeking changes to the bill and made headway in the Senate Judiciary Committee. While c3 thinks the bill can be further improved by the Senate, we hope it passes quickly, following the lead of the House of Representatives, which recently passed it by a vote of 415 to 0 and the unanimous approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 28.
We’ve been fighting the concentration of power in the hands of very few tech companies, like Google and Facebook, who essentially act as gatekeepers between artists and their fans and take advantage of outdated laws to profit from the unlicensed use of our music. As the first step in that fight, we’ve joined a Coalition called “Freedom from Facebook,” which is calling to break up the company. The Coalition recently flew a banner over the Facebook shareholder’s meeting (picture below), letting Facebook’s leadership know how we really feel.
Third, this issue is full of great reads with two particular standout pieces: Rhett Miller’s “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker,” which delves into the distortions of the creative process caused by big data and big tech. Rhett’s article runs in parallel to Jonathan Taplin’s new “afterword” to his groundbreaking book “Move Fast and Break Things.” The book blew the whistle on the philosophical underpinnings of tech companies and their reckless disregard for the destruction of the creative class. This new afterward, which also appears in the just-out paperback editionof the book, picks up the story with new revelations about how that reckless disregard for the damage these platforms cause is undermining American democracy.
In our inaugural edition of “Music Worker,” which was issued just after the Stoneman Douglas school shooting, we vowed that we would continue to press for policies to fight gun violence. Since then, a Waffle House in the “Music City” of Nashville was the scene of more senseless violence. Four died in this shooting, and more would have been lost had it not been for the heroism of James Shaw, Jr., who wrestled the gun from the assailant.
We are continuing to fight on this bedrock issue and c3’s own Executive Board Member Rosanne Cash has joined the Music Council of Everytown for Gun Safety. On June 1st, Everytown’s Music Council announced new members including: Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Grizzly Bear, Incubus, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Lizzo, The National, Natalie Merchant, Peaches, Samantha Ronson, Steve Aoki and the X Ambassadors (joining Rosanne, Andrew Bird, Common, Questlove, and Yoko Ono). We encourage you to join Everytown for Gun Safetytoo.
Finally, like you, we were horrified at the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that dictated the inhumane separation of children from their parents, locking children in cages. We spoke out calling for an end to that policy, the reunification of families, and that trauma and counseling support be provided to those affected. We note the ambiguity surrounding the supposed roll back of this policy and remain vigilant about this Administration’s immigration policies.
We’re grateful you’ve joined us and if you find this newsletter valuable, please pass it along to others and encourage them to sign up to receive it directly.