A2IM March on DC
The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) are heading to Capitol Hill this week.
"A2IM President Rich Bengloff and Vice President Jim Mahoney will be joined by a group including A2IM board member Portia Sabin of Kill Rock Stars (Please tell me it will say that on her name tag!) and representatives from ADA, Altissimo Recordings, Mack Avenue, Pandora, TAG Strategic, and Tommy Boy.
Key issues for the lobbing effort include:
* The proposed Performance Rights Act, especially as it relates to the lack of international reciprocity for independent labels -- meaning that indies are unable to collect royalties due in territories outside the U.S. as payable by over the air radio stations in those territories.
* Continued copyright protection and IP concerns and the need for government enforcement of copyright, especially for user generated online content.
* Pending legislation and FCC policy on broadcast spectrum allocation that could seriously affect musical productions.
* Government support for the arts on the world stage enabling greater export of U.S. repertoire, to level the playing field with other countries that have robust financial and logistical support, and to aid U.S. artists who create music and the music labels that invest in that creation to market our homegrown musical talent abroad."
Hell yes. This is what it's all about. This is how we bring about change.
I have been in full support of Performance Rights, as the corporate machine of radio has become less a place to break new talent and more a place to sell advertising space within a few minutes of mediocre pop music. If the radio stations were still independent, we would have a very different music climate in this country.
Just look at the UK. They still have an incredible radio format, their music sales are strong, and new artists are constantly breaking. We even send American rock bands there to get exposure because modern rock radio in the US is useless.
Did you know that the Kings of Leon were playing stadiums in the UK while I was seeing them in clubs of a few hundred people in New York? Yeah, this happens more often than not.
As far as copyright protection goes, that is a gray area in which I am still on the fence. It obviously makes sense from a business standpoint for independent labels that do not make millions like the majors do. That being said, it scares me.
It will be interesting to see where Obama goes on these issues.