Happy New Year!
FMC’s preparing to launch a new, mobile-optimized website with a focus on making it easy for musicians and fans to take action. While we’re working to get that up and running, here’s a quick update on what we expect to be tackling in Washington DC in 2019.
Fairness in Music Licensing, Business, and Copyright. This will include finally requiring that AM/FM radio pay musicians (while ensuring that college and community radio stations aren’t unduly burdened). We’ll work to ensure the Music Modernization Act is implemented in ways that serve the full diversity of creators. And we’ll demystify complicated industry structures and practices for policymakers, musicians, and fans.
Healthy Competition — Musicians have experienced ownership consolidation in nearly every part of our industry and in adjacent industries, and it interferes with our ability to reach audiences and be fairly compensated for their creativity and labor. It’s time This includes working for fresh thinking and revitalized anti-trust enforcement at the Federal Trade Commission and Dept of Justice. This also includes work to ensure ownership diversity in broadcast media. Right now, the biggest broadcasters are pushing for a regulatory change at the FCC that would allow a single company to own every commercial radio station in most markets. We’ll be at the center of efforts to stop this!
Healthy Internet Policy — Musicians rely on the internet to reach audiences and conduct their business. While Ajit Pai’s efforts to throw out Net Neutrality protections will be debated in the courts (oral arguments begin in February), we’ll continue to push Congress for the restoration of Title II open internet protections, and oppose “compromises” that undermine core net neutrality principles: no blocking of legal content, no throttling, no paid prioritization. This is an important component of a broader vision for a balanced, humane internet policy agenda that reflects the full range of our shared values: free expression, privacy, decentralization, autonomy, and fairness.
Health Care — The Affordable Care Act has enabled many working musicians to access health coverage for the first time in their professional lives—before it’s passage, our research found that musicians lacked health insurance at nearly three times the rate of the general adult population. FMC is committed to defending these gains, but the same time, gaps and systemic barriers to care still exist. It’s time for Congress to seriously consider Medicare For All; we’ll be working to evaluate proposals and ensure that the unique needs and concerns of the music community are considered.
Alongside these core priorities, FMC will continue to work in coalition with partners in support of our shared goals, such as arts funding, support for public and community media, and a creative ecosystem that more accurately reflects our nation’s diversity.