More on Our Mission

For far too long, music creators have been divided by our roles, rights, and royalties.  But the interests that unite us are far greater than those that have been used by others to divide us.

Collectively, we now face some big problems in the music business:

  • Low payments from digital music services like Pandora and Spotify
  • Really low payments from YouTube and other sites that stream videos
  • Rampant, unchecked piracy across the internet
  • No performing right in a terrestrial broadcast for performing artists
  • No statutory revenue participation for music producers
  • Out of date government regulations – like the Consent Decrees of ASCAP and BMI
  • Overall, reduced transparency for music creators and performers
  • Use of the Copyright Law's Safe Harbor provision to shield companies from infringement liability
  • The explosion of ineffective ad revenue models that offer free music but don't make enough money to actually pay for it.
  • Some alarming new business tactics that some music companies are employing (e.g. music companies taking equity positions in digital music providers in lieu of higher royalty rates)

These are just a few of the huge problems we face.  Some of them can be worked out with industry partners, and some can be influenced by consumer behavior.  But some solutions can only be achieved through federal legislation—that is, the copyright law.

Eventually there is going to be a battle in Washington, and we—the people who actually create the music the world loves—have to be ready.  

  • We have many things in common with publishers and record companies, but we want to speak for ourselves, not through their lobbying groups
  • We want and deserve our own seat at the table.
  • The time to organize is not when legislation is finally introduced—it's right now!

The Copyright Office has produced a report on the music industry, Copyright and the Music Marketplace, offering the history of how we got where we are, the problems from both sides, and offering some opinion of how some of those problems might be solved.  It's not perfect from any single party's perspective, but it sets out a basic framework we can work with.  But it's gathering dust in Washington because it has no advocates.

We are those advocates!

Our opponents have lots of money and influence, but if we stand together we have strength and power.

So this is what we're doing.  MusicAnswers is our campaign to organize ALL music writers, performers, and producers to support some immediate changes in the way things are being done, and work together for common sense changes to the Copyright law.  It's based on our Declaration of Principles, which thousands of songwriters, composers, performers and producers have signed.

If we expect to win this fight for a fair and equitable music industry, we're going to need pretty much everyone to join in.  Please sign our Declaration, and when the time comes, we hope you'll join us in Washington.