Yolanda Adams Testifies On Fair Use In DMCA Hearing

Yolanda Adams

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Yolanda Adams Testifies On Fair Use In DMCA Hearing

At today's Digital Millennium Copyright Act hearing, the GRAMMY-winning gospel singer/songwriter took the stand to represent the Recording Academy and music creators

Advocacy/Jul 29, 2020 - 03:47 am

No one knows more about the importance of intellectual property rights than the creators who rely on their creative work to make a living. This morning, four-time GRAMMY winning singer/songwriter and Recording Academy Trustee Yolanda Adams shared her first-hand experience and perspective on the topic of fair use, as the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held another Digital millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) hearing.

Today's hearing was titled “How Does the DMCA Contemplate Limitations and Exceptions Like Fair Use?” and was broadcast live on the Judiciary Committee’s website. Adams would provide key insight into what matters to music makers and how fair use affects their income.

Adams opened her remarks with a nod of respect to late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who was lying in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda prior to his funeral on Thursday in Atlanta.  Adams continued, laying out the reality of the pandemic's effect on the live music industry and what that means for performers like herself. She explained how she relies on multiple income streams, as many music makers do, and that dried up live performance opportunities put even more emphasis on income from recording.

"In the digital landscape, where streams only bring fractions of a penny to the creators, we hope to monetize every use. This is where fair use comes in.," Adams said.

"When you hear a debate about fair use, it’s typically about monetization," Adams said. "And that’s important to me and my fellow Recording Academy members. If someone’s claim of fair use reduces the artists’ ability to earn a living, it should be treated as infringement, plain and simple."

Furthermore, in her written testimony, Adams reminded the Committee on how "fair use" philosophies have been weaponized by Big Radio to generate free programming for their highly profitable stations without paying the performers. At a similar hearing back in May, Harvey Mason jr. testified on behalf of the Academy and creators about how the Ask Musicians for Music (AM-FM) Act would fix the issue. Adams did not shy away from making sure the topic is still top of mind for the Committee. 

"If we are truly concerned with 'fair use,' we cannot allow large commercial businesses to use recordings 24 hours a day, every day, without a cent of compensation to the artist." Adams said in her submitted testimony. "I know the long-standing radio performance right issue is not today’s topic, but it is this Committee’s jurisdiction. There is no use more unfair than exploiting an artists’ music without permission or compensation."

For her efforts, Ranking Member Chris Coons (D-DE) acknowledged Adams' efforts. Asking for an artist’s consent “was the main point made by the Queen, Ms. Yolanda Adams, the reigning Queen of Gospel," he said.

"I regret that we aren’t in person for many reasons," Coons continued. "You have many fans in my office and in the Senate that were hopefully about getting a chance to speak with you today. Your songs, like ‘Victory’ and ‘I Believe’ and ‘Open My Heart,’ have touched the hearts of many and is a reminder that the work of singers and songwriters touches people of all backgrounds and political persuasions. I wanted to thank you for bringing the heart of an artist and the soul of a songwriter to the testimony today.”

Ranking Member Coons' comments prove the effectiveness of artists taking a stand, literally. The Recording Academy has launched its Summer Of Advocacy, activating members across the country to engage their lawmakers about issues and policy affecting creators' livelihoods, now during the pandemic and for the future artists of all types who deserve to inherit a fair system where they may flourish. The summer-long program will culminate on Aug. 12 with the Academy's seventh annual District Advocate, the year's largest grassroots movement for music.

Take Action To Help Music Creators In Need Of COVID-19 Relief

Black Music Collective Podcast: How Yolanda Adams Became A Global Icon In Gospel Music

Yolanda Adams (L) & MC Lyte (R)

Yolanda Adams Photo Credit: Courtesy of Roy Cox / MC Lyte Photo Credit: D'Andre Michael

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Black Music Collective Podcast: How Yolanda Adams Became A Global Icon In Gospel Music

In the latest episode of the "Black Music Collective Podcast," four-time GRAMMY-winning artist Yolanda Adams discusses her journey to becoming a household name in the gospel world and the power of faith

Recording Academy/Jul 23, 2021 - 04:00 am

In the newest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast," a new podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble, host and two-time GRAMMY nominee MC Lyte chats with gospel music icon Yolanda Adams.

Recognized by Billboard as one of the Top Gospel Artists of the last decade, Adams is a four-time GRAMMY-winning artist who believes her music heals, encourages and inspires others to trust more than themselves. She has triumphantly carried the torch for contemporary gospel and inspirational music across her impressive discography.

In addition to her storied music career, which has seen the Houston, Texas, native pivot from school teacher to part-time model to platinum-selling artist, Adams is also an author, designer, record company executive, mother, and host of her award-winning, nationally syndicated radio show, "The Yolanda Adams Morning Show."

An active member within the Recording Academy family and Trustee of the Texas Chapter, Adams currently serves on the distinguished leadership council of the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective.

Listen to Yolanda Adams discuss her journey to becoming a household name in the gospel world and the power of faith in the newest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" above.

About The Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast:

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" is a six-part podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble. Hosted by MC Lyte, the series includes various members of the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and beyond, who discuss their contributions and impact within the community and the music industry at large.

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" streams every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT through July 29 on EBONY.com and EBONY's YouTube channel and Facebook page, as well as on GRAMMY.com/BlackMusicCollectivePodcast and the Recording Academy's official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Black Music Collective Podcast: Watch Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Discuss Their Legendary Legacy As GRAMMY-Winning Producers

Black Music Collective Podcast: How Yolanda Adams Became A Global Icon In Gospel Music
Yolanda Adams (L) & MC Lyte (R)

Yolanda Adams Photo Credit: Courtesy of Roy Cox / MC Lyte Photo Credit: D'Andre Michael

news

Black Music Collective Podcast: How Yolanda Adams Became A Global Icon In Gospel Music

In the latest episode of the "Black Music Collective Podcast," four-time GRAMMY-winning artist Yolanda Adams discusses her journey to becoming a household name in the gospel world and the power of faith

Recording Academy/Oct 29, 2021 - 12:29 am

In the newest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast," a new podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble, host and two-time GRAMMY nominee MC Lyte chats with gospel music icon Yolanda Adams.

Recognized by Billboard as one of the Top Gospel Artists of the last decade, Adams is a four-time GRAMMY-winning artist who believes her music heals, encourages and inspires others to trust more than themselves. She has triumphantly carried the torch for contemporary gospel and inspirational music across her impressive discography.

In addition to her storied music career, which has seen the Houston, Texas, native pivot from school teacher to part-time model to platinum-selling artist, Adams is also an author, designer, record company executive, mother, and host of her award-winning, nationally syndicated radio show, "The Yolanda Adams Morning Show."

An active member within the Recording Academy family and Trustee of the Texas Chapter, Adams currently serves on the distinguished leadership council of the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective.

Listen to Yolanda Adams discuss her journey to becoming a household name in the gospel world and the power of faith in the newest episode of the "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" above.

About The Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast:

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" is a six-part podcast series presented by Procter & Gamble. Hosted by MC Lyte, the series includes various members of the Recording Academy's Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and beyond, who discuss their contributions and impact within the community and the music industry at large.

The "Recording Academy x EBONY: Black Music Collective Podcast" streams every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT through July 29 on EBONY.com and EBONY's YouTube channel and Facebook page, as well as on GRAMMY.com/BlackMusicCollectivePodcast and the Recording Academy's official Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Black Music Collective Podcast: Watch Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Discuss Their Legendary Legacy As GRAMMY-Winning Producers