A Message From the NMC President and Chair

Dr. James Weaver, President
National Music Council

Charles J. Sanders, Chair
National Music Council

Happy Autumn to all National Music Council members!  We hope you had an enjoyable summer, and are ready to join us in rolling up our sleeves as we launch into a productive fall campaign in support of our many common ideals.

Autumn’s return is traditionally a time for reflection and reevaluation, and we’re happy to report how excited we are concerning the current state and trajectory of NMC.  When we think about our organization today, we are fortunate in these challenging times to remain a vibrant and growing member-based umbrella group, whose members share a wide range of mutual aspirations.  Each of our goals rests upon the laudable motivations of supporting music creation and performance, defending and advocating for creators’ rights, and teaching music throughout the United States and the world.   These are vital contributions to our Nation and the world, and our members are rightfully proud of the work they continue to perform no matter the challenges that may arise.

For the past 82 years and counting, NMC and its members (now numbering over forty national organizations) have successfully advocated for these. principles at the local, state, and national levels, and on a global basis through our active service on the Paris-based International Music Council.   In our last newsletter we spoke to the five music rights identified and developed by the IMC in coordination with our organization and others:

In the pursuit of supporting these complementary rights in the US and across the globe, NMC has recently placed emphasis on educating the American public on the enactment of a new US law known as the CASE Act, the passage of which was supported by NMC.  The Act established a “small claims” system within the US Copyright Office to permit creators and copyright owners to affordably protect their rights against infringers, while maintaining the fair use safeguards developed by American courts over two centuries of copyright practice to protect the speech rights and privileges of educators and users.  This careful balance will be monitored and reported upon by NMC over the coming months and years, to ensure that the highest aspirations of the law are fulfilled and maintained.

NMC will likewise proudly continue its watchdog role in monitoring the suppression of speech that is an ever-present danger to music creators and educators around the world.  The rising, global trend toward authoritarianism in national governance has recently demonstrated the particular vulnerability of outspoken creators to be “made examples of” by repressive regimes seeking to silence commentary and dissent across entire societies.  A vital part of NMC’s mission is to bring such instances to light in ways that offer protection to the targets of censorship, while additionally encouraging the free exchange of ideas (so long as hate speech is not implicated).

Further, NMC as always will be actively advocating for fair remuneration to creators and copyright owners for the use of their works in the US and everywhere in the world.  With such economic protections, as we have witnessed over the centuries, creativity, speech, art and culture flourish.  Without them, the result is often decay and retrogression.

With your help, we look forward to continuing all of this important work — including our online educational panel series– on behalf of our members.  Your active participation in and support of NMC initiatives over the coming year is enthusiastically welcomed!

Once again, Happy Autumn.  As Van Morrison famously wrote, “It’s a marvelous night for a Moondance.”  Let’s get to it!