Following the surprise (or not) election of Donald Trump the American National Music Publishers Association has written to the President-Elect with their wishes for the future of the music industry.
Music has become more accessible than ever before with almost every track and album ever created at your fingertips thanks to the internet. But with that unchartered territory comes a lot of complications that are still creating debates over the fair treatment of artists and the rest of the industry.
With a new man soon to be sitting in the White House the NMPA have written an open letter to President-Elect Donald Trump outlining what they hope he can do for the music industry. The NMPA also discussed how they felt Google’s close relationship with Washington has led to “an unfair and often hostile stance towards the creative community”.
The message from the NMPA follows a similar open letter written by the Internet Association to Trump detailing the importance of the internet to economy and additionally how vital it is to make sure the internet is a protected place for copyright owners.
The letter, written by NMPA’s President and CEO David Israelite, reads as follows:
Dear President-Elect Trump,
As the association representing America’s songwriters and music publishers, we congratulate you on becoming the 45th President of the United States. As you have said many times, Washington needs to change, and one of the changes we hope comes from your Presidency is fairness for one of America’s most important small businesses: songwriters.
Giant technology companies have had a stronghold in Washington under the Obama Administration. Google, which owns the largest music streaming company in the world – YouTube – enjoyed a well-documented, close relationship with the White House, in particular.
“an unfair and often hostile stance towards the creative community”
Relationships like these led to an unfair and often hostile stance towards the creative community whose work has been systematically devalued by the very technology companies who rely on its product.
Such companies recently wrote to you requesting support for the Internet industry and its “innovation”, however we implore you to keep in mind that innovation is the first casualty of a lack of incentive. Once the songwriters, producers and publishers behind the music cannot make a living, not only will they suffer, but so will all of the technology and entertainment industries they fuel. For context, copyright industries contribute almost $2 trillion and account for almost 14.5% of the U.S. economy.
Intellectual property has been the victim of increasing pressure by Internet and digital companies who want to make other people’s private property free. The ultimate victim will be the music itself, after all incentives to create have been removed. We can resist this trend by advocating for strong and fair copyright policies which are the bedrock of our great nation’s artistic tradition.
“songwriters are under attack by overregulation and degradation by Washington bureaucracy”
Like many small business owners in America, songwriters are under attack by overregulation and degradation by Washington bureaucracy. We are hopeful that your administration is a sign of change for them – and that under your leadership they will be able to profit from the work they produce in a fair and free-market way, as other property owners do.
Attached to this letter please find a short summary of priorities for the songwriting and copyright community. As always, we are ready to answer any questions and hope the door will finally be open to the unsung heroes of the music industry: the songwriters.
President & CEO
National Music Publishers’ Association