So you want to form a band. You’ve got your equipment, found your rehearsal space and are keeping connected with your loyal fan base on MySpace and Twitter.
But what about health insurance?
Before the health care reform bill became law you had a choice to make. You could pay for health care, or you could take the risk.
A significant portion of musicians has decided to take the risk. An April 2010 study from the Future of Music Coalition found that 34 percent of the 1,400 musicians surveyed did not have health insurance, more than twice the national average.
Primer: The 2009 inauguration of Obama — plus Democratic majorities in Congress — meant a shift in the power dynamic in Washington, DC. How are creative industries faring so far in this administration? Rumor has it that music is enjoyed and revered in the White House, but these are also trying times for policymakers. Can a pro-arts agenda be balanced with pressing economic and infrastructure concerns? Does the cultural community have a role to play in recovery? What legislation will make it out of committee and onto the floor? Top staffers from the House and Senate will discuss the key music-technology-policy issues playing out on Capitol Hill, and how musicians are engaging.
U.S. copyright official Steven Tepp said Tuesday he doesn’t understand many of the current objections to the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a 37-nation effort to enforce copyright and counterfeit laws across international borders.
Tepp, senior counsel for policy and international affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office, dismissed objections to ACTA voiced by representatives of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), an intellectual-property research and advocacy group, during a debate on the trade agreement at the Future of Music Coalition’s Washington, D.C., policy forum.
It’s DC Policy Day for the Future of Music Coalition - where staffers from the Judiciary and Commerce committees will discuss topics from broadband policy to copyright to the health care bill. And musicians’ advocates, like F-M-C spokesman Casey Rae-Hunter, will find themselves using phrases like “positive economic multipliers.”
RAE-HUNTER This is a vital sector of the American public. They contribute a lot not only culturally but economically. What can we do to give them the best fighting chance to re-establish themselves as part of the American recovery?
Groups such as the Future of Music Coalition, an organization advocating on behalf of musicians, believes a web that isn’t net neutral will end up hurting independent artists and impede the development of the internet. “Artists need access to this platform. It’s how they relate to their fans,” said Casey Rae-Hunter, FMC Communications Director in a recent interview. “We knew if the platform was open we would see innovation.” Hunter points to the success of indie rock bands like Okay Go, who have used the web to cultivate a loyal fan base. Music sites like Pandora are examples of what can occur when artists and innovators are given the chance to compete on a level playing field.
Without the reassurance that a robust regulator is preventing service providers from steering or otherwise interfering with web traffic, people like Hunter fear the Internet may tend towards favoring major label artists and ultimately marginalizing indie acts.
“(Maybe) Lady Gaga could cut a deal with an ISP but I can’t,” said Hunter, also a working musician. read more
Across town, another DC-based group, the Future of Music Coalition, was ready to engage. “Everyone is trying to figure out what the next steps are,” Casey Rae-Hunter,
Communications Director at the Coalition told Digital Music News.
Suddenly the debate is more energized, and according to Rae-Hunter, issues like Congressional involvement and aspects of the Administration-backed National Broadband Plan are getting greater attention. “This ramps up a very spirited and interesting debate,” the director shared. read more
Future of Music Coalition’s Casey Rae-Hunter talking about the April 6, 2010 US Court of Appeals District of Columbia decision in Comcast v. FCC, which impacts the FCC’s ability to preserve the open internet and pursue many aspects of the National Broadband Plan.