Music artists have a lot of beefs with the current system in place that they say are cheating them out of work and money. From an antiquated copyright system to not receiving payment for radio airplay in the U.S. to being taken advantage of by tech companies, even artists with strong management can’t change these things as much as they’d like. But as the social events happening around us have shown, together we are strong, so they have banded together to form the Artists Rights Alliance and issue what they call the Artists Bill Of Rights.
Although founded in 2013, the organization is mobilizing again over the threat to artists that may come from the potential merger between Liberty Media and iHeart Radio.
Among the ARA’s 93 members include heavyweights like Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, T Bone Burnett, Keb mo and Emmylou Harris. Their Artists Bill Of Rights states a number of items that it feels are central to an artist’s career that includes:
“The Right to Control Our Work – the ability to decide when and on what terms our creative works are performed, reproduced, or distributed, and the ability to assign these rights to partners of our choosing.
The Right to Economic and Artistic Freedom – including the right to fair market value compensation for creative work on all platforms at all times and a music ecosystem that incentivizes creativity, breadth and variety, diversity among creators and styles, and that nurtures and supports the next generation of artists.
The Right to Attribution and Acknowledgment – including ready access for all audiences on all platforms to credit information and liner note materials.
The Right to a Music Community – including fully funded public arts education and support for non-commercial performances and works so that creative opportunities, expression, and connection are open to all and society is broadly enriched by as many forms of art and as much artistic participation as possible.
The Right to Competitive Platforms – including channels of distribution, communication, and social media that are competitive, transparent, accurate, secure, open to all on non-discriminatory terms, protective of user privacy, and free of industrial scale piracy and any other commercialized theft of our work.
The Right to Information and Platform Transparency – including effective audit and transparency rights with respect to all platforms, services, and companies that use, distribute, or monetize our work.
The Right to Political Participation – including the ability to advocate for the recognition and protection of all these rights without retribution, blacklisting, or retaliation from distribution channels, platforms, or partners; and the elimination of restrictions on organizing and collective action in support of such advocacy.”
That’s a lot to ask for all at once, but the times are ripe for the previous tall establishment walls to be breached as we see happening across all of society. If the Artists Bill Of Rights helps artist’s make just a little bit of progress it would be a big improvement for all.