Last week a bunch of artists including Roseanne Cash, David Poe and T Bone Burnett rose up on Capitol Hill to ask for the support of brave Members of Congress for the Fair Play Fair Pay Act–artist pay for radio play. This will require the Members to stand up to Google’s raw lobbying power and the insidious pressure from the National Association of Broadcasters which is either an act of great political courage or political suicide. We won’t know which until the Members take a swing at the bullies.
Here’s the text of T Bone’s speech:
The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech.
For most of us here, that’s at the very core of who we are — the freedom to speak, to sing, to create, to tell stories.
But the First Amendment does more than that — it says all Americans have the right to “petition their government for redress of grievances”.
That’s why we’re here today– from all over the country, from all kinds of music, from all walks of life.
Creators and artists petitioning our government.
Demanding change in a music economy that isn’t working.
Petitioning this Congress to step up and update the obsolete laws that have made such chaos of the business side of music.
Doing what we can to right wrongs that have plagued creators for decades — from the player piano dance halls to today’s infinite cyber jukeboxes.
Reminding the digital entrepreneurs- the iTopians- that they are partners in this brave new music ecosystem — not in charge of it.