It was revealed that over 180 artists signed a petition against the new changes Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in the US.
These artists and songwriters are essentially calling for a redrawing of the ‘safe harbor’ protections within the DMCA, which allow platforms such as YouTube to avoid legal liability for copyright infringement taking place on its platform.
“This is a historic moment in the music business,” said Irving Azoff, chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, who organised the letter.
“This diverse group of artists coming together illustrates that this is a movement, which should not be underestimated. In all my years, this is the only time I can remember everyone – artists, songwriters, managers, labels, publishers, PROs – agreeing and collectively calling for change. This is just the beginning.
“The entire industry is united and committed to pursuing a fair resolution. We are fighting for the future.”
The open letter arrives as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is slated to soon announce a framework for US copyright reform legislation following three years of hearings and consultation with various interested parties.
DEAR CONGRESS: THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT (DMCA) IS BROKEN AND NO LONGER WORKS FOR CREATORS
As songwriters and artists who are a vital contributing force to the U.S. and to American exports around the world, we are writing to express our concern about the ability of the next generation of creators to earn a living. The existing laws threaten the continued viability of songwriters and recording artists to survive from the creation of music. Aspiring creators shouldn’t have to decide between making music and making a living. Please protect them.
One of the biggest problems confronting songwriters and recording artists today is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This law was written and passed in an era that is technologically out-of-date compared to the era in which we live. It has allowed major tech companies to grow and generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters’ and artists’ earnings continue to diminish. Music consumption has skyrocketed, but the monies earned by individual writers and artists for that consumption has plummeted.
The DMCA simply doesn’t work. It’s impossible for tens of thousands of individual songwriters and artists to muster the resources necessary to comply with its application. The tech companies who benefit from the DMCA today were not the intended protectorate when it was signed into law nearly two decades ago. We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It’s only then that consumers will truly benefit.