Today brings news of a new coalition that has come together to advance specific perspectives around music licensing reform. The MIC Coalition is comprised of such companies and organizations as Amazon, NPR, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Hotel and Lodging Association, Google, the National Restaurant Association, Pandora, Digital Media Association, the Consumer Electronics Association, iHeartMedia and others.
It’s easy to be cynical about the “inside baseball” of Washington trade industry groups banding together to leverage their interests in policy conversations. But it’s also important to remember that in the Beltway, nothing much gets done without coalitions—some of which are the epitome of “strange bedfellows.”
In this case, we see a group of music users who certainly have a stake in debates about how music is licensed and the copyright laws that dictate how this complex space functions.
Future of Music Coalition has always been about fostering dialog around the policy issues that impact the creative sector, particularly musicians and composers. We’re now at the start of what will surely be a longer set of conversations about making the music licensing space more rational. Obviously, we’re most concerned about what proposed changes mean to artists, which is why we take the time to analyze every aspect of bills like the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, whereas others only tell you what they think you ought to hear. In fact, we report out on EVERY piece of legislation that impacts musicians, so you can make your own informed decisions.
Ultimately, this process is about balancing the need for artists to be paid fairly and accurately with the desire to grow the legitimate music marketplace. There may be instances where musicians, managers and independent labels find themselves in alignment with new advocacy voices like MIC, and times when we vehemently disagree. (It’s no big secret that the latter happens fairly often.) But with so much at stake, we think it’s far better to have the conversation than to retreat to our respective corners. So to this extent we recognize that there will be emerging coalitions who also have a stake in how all of this turns out. Let’s have the debate.
The most important thing to us is that creators are part of the conversation. We’re a big tent because we have to be—our research going back to the early 2000s shows that artists have a range of perspectives on technology and the music industries. Anyone who tells you that they have a simple solution to fix the industry is probably full of it. What’s more likely—and this is the thing that’s hard for some folks to accept—is that getting it “right” for future generations is going to necessitate input from a broad range of stakeholders, musicians included.
We’re here to do our part and to help YOU do yours.