The Fight For Music Maker's Rights Continues This Summer: Four Key Questions For A Busy Legislative Season

U.S. Capitol Building

Photo: Hisham Ibrahim via Getty Images

news

The Fight For Music Maker's Rights Continues This Summer: Four Key Questions For A Busy Legislative Season

As another active summer of legislation looms, here are four questions the Recording Academy's Advocacy team would like to pose for those engaged in the fight for music maker's rights.

Advocacy/Jun 3, 2022 - 12:36 am

This year's GRAMMYs On The Hill may be in the rearview, but does that mean the fight for music maker's rights is over for 2022? Absolutely not: it's only the beginning. So many bills, initiatives and legislative forces are in play, and the Recording Academy's Advocacy team is here to spell them out for you.

With a busy legislative summer on the horizon, here are four questions to pose for the fight ahead.

Could The PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act Pass?

The PEACE Act — or Promoting Peace, Education, And Cultural Exchange Through Music Diplomacy Act — authorizes music-related exchange programs facilitated by the Department of State.

Sponsored by 2022 GRAMMYs On The Hill honorees Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), the bill would use music, and music-related global exchange programs, as a tool to build cross-cultural understanding and advance peace abroad.

Or, as worded in the bill text, "The bill authorizes the inclusion of coordination and consultation with the private sector in the participation by groups and individuals from other countries in nonprofit activities in the United States similar to certain artistic and sports activities when such participation is in the national interest."

Aligned with April's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, Reps. McCaul and Deutch wrote a "Dear Colleague" letter to their fellow members of Congress urging them to co-sponsor the PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act so that it may become law. In this letter, the bipartisan lawmakers outlined how important music is to international relations.

As they wrote, "music is a powerful tool that can be used to bridge divides and promote peace around the world," calling the medium "the universal language." Reps. McCaul and Deutch also stated that the bill would allow the Secretary of State to recognize musicians who have been effective in advancing peace abroad and highlighting the Recording Academy's support of the bill.

After GRAMMYs On The Hill, Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Tillis (R-NC) introduced a companion version of the bill in the Senate giving it the potential momentum it needs to become law. Click here for more information on how the Recording Academy advocates for the PEACE Act.

What's Next In The Fight For Fairness For All Music Makers?

Following the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the American Music Fairness Act last February, there is strong bipartisan support building in the House of Representatives. 

As the House Judiciary Democrats put it, "For decades big corporations that own thousands of radio stations in the U.S. have refused to pay performers when their music plays on AM/FM radio. It's time for American performers to receive compensation for their work, just like everyone else."

And as Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) expressed, "Music has the power to bring people together. Now, more than ever, as we continue to seek means of staying connected amid a global pandemic, people are turning to music to enjoy and to participate in a sense of social belonging."

For more supportive reactions to the House Judiciary Committee Hearing on the American Music Fairness Act, click here.

Additionally, following GRAMMYs On The Hill and overall Academy efforts there's Senate interest building on the horizon for a companion bill to be introduced. Senate introduction would mark a big step in the fight for fairness and could prompt further action on the American Music Fairness Act this Congress.

Since its introduction last summer, 33 cosponsors have materialized for the American Music Fairness Act — the majority of which signed on shortly after meeting with Academy advocates during Behind the Record Advocacy day last fall.

Will California Voters Support Arts & Music Education?

A major theatre for the fight for the next generation of music creators is the Golden State. With the Academy's endorsement, the #VoteArtsAndMusic ballot campaign secured more than one million signatures and will appear on the November ballot. If approved by California's voters, hundreds of millions of dollars will be allocated toward PreK-12 arts and music education in schools across the state.

What it'll need is a state-wide push, which would come in the form of awareness and "get out the vote" efforts throughout the summer. Academy advocates will be on the front-lines building support.

Click here for more information on #VoteArtsAndMusic, here for insight on why the Recording Academy supports this campaign, and here for an L.A. Times article on how this initiative — if passed — would increase arts spending in California schools.

Will Policymakers In D.C. Continue To Show Support For All Creators?

From passing the HITS (Help Independent Tracks Succeed) Act in Congress to new CRB (Copyright Royalty Board)-set songwriter rates, to the opening of the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) on June 16, policymakers in D.C. have a golden opportunity to stand up for all creators this summer.

Click here for a recap of the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers (S&C) Wing Town Hall, an in-depth discussion of the state of songwriter royalties and changes on the horizon regarding how songwriters are compensated. And check back on RecordingAcademy.com/Advocacy for latest developments on the new CCB launch this month, and future movement for the HITS Act this summer.

With all of this in mind, let us gird ourselves for what will undoubtedly be an exciting and fruitful year — as the Academy continues its fight for all music people, all over the world.

How The 2022 GRAMMYs On The Hill Awards Brought Joy, Healing & Reverence For Music People