@IFTA_Official, @ArtistRightsNow, @The_AFM and @CreativeFuture Ask Congress to Hold Silicon Valley Monopolies Accountable

[Editor Charlie sez:  Congress needs to get rid of the safe harbors for the special people, including the retroactive safe harbor against songwriters in the Music Modernization Act that no one talks about.]

 Press Release

LOS ANGELES, CA / WASHINGTON, DC – April 19, 2018 – Today, the American Federation of Musicians, the Content Creators Coalition, CreativeFuture, and the Independent Film & Television Alliance, four organizations representing over 240,000 members and 670 companies, sent letters to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary; the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. These committees held hearings with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on April 10 and 11, 2018, where Facebook’s founder was questioned on the company’s accountability and responsibility for what appears on their platform.

The letters, which will be entered into the official record for both hearings, ask Congress to ensure “that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other internet platforms … (1) take meaningful action to protect their users’ data, (2) take appropriate responsibility for the integrity of the news and information on their platforms, and (3) prevent the distribution of unlawful and harmful content through their channels.”

“Facebook, Google and other internet platforms post massive amounts of content often without the consent of the people who create this content and without compensating the creators. Congress should take strong action to ensure that musicians and other creators are appropriately compensated and credited when their work is used by these very profitable corporations,” said American Federation of Musicians International President Ray Hair.

“The same dominant internet platforms that have successfully connected billions of people across the globe and mapped the world refuse to take action to stop the real harms their platforms have enabled. They boast of their technological know-how and then claim to be powerless to police fake news, human trafficking, and unlicensed content on their platforms,” said the Content Creators Coalition. “While we are encouraged by the recent hearings, Congress needs to do more to hold these platform monopolies accountable.”

CreativeFuture CEO Ruth Vitale said: “Silicon Valley touts their size when bragging about their contribution to the American economy, but when they want to fend off regulation, they quickly retreat to ‘just two guys working in the garage…’ and claim that rules will ‘stifle innovation.’

“Big Tech has made it to the top of American industry when it comes to profitability. So, this is the time when they should take responsibility. They must do what they can to stop crimes from happening on their turf.”

Jean Prewitt, President & CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, added: “The internet should create important opportunities for expanded distribution, new audiences, and new revenue streams for independent creatives. That promise, however, can only be realized if online platforms and services, like Facebook, Google, Twitter and others, respect the personal and economic rights of consumers and creators and work cooperatively to ensure that those principles are observed throughout the ecosystem. We appreciate Congress taking the first steps to evaluate the extent to which corporate and legislative action may be needed to achieve that result.”