New York, November 19, 2022 — With the suppression of artistic freedoms on the rise throughout the world, it remains clear that many governments continue to view the longstanding practice of lashing out against music creators to be an especially effective strategy in discouraging political dissent. That tactic has the dual intentions of silencing those voices perceived as most likely to spark impassioned protest, while simultaneously conveying the message that no one is safe from being targeted for commercial, financial and sometimes violent retribution over “unwelcome” speech. The warning to the public is simple, but blunt: “if this can happen to a star performer, composer or songwriter, imagine what can happen to you.”
To decry this dangerous trend, music creators and recording artists throughout North America are joining together to shine a light on the increasing misuse by governments of both intimidating law enforcement tactics and of electronic tracking technologies to curb the use of songs as a means of social and political criticism.
As regards the governmental weaponization of technology against music creators, for example, in at least one recent case, the metadata of a widely popular protest song was apparently changed to indicate a new and fictitious author and copyright owner. Copyright violations were then alleged against the original creator by the government-supported imposter as a method of having the songs automatically removed from various internet music sites.
This abuse of the copyright monitoring systems that serve as the economic lifelines to help protect and get music creators and artists paid is unacceptable, unethical and illegal. It is secondary in its lawlessness, however, to the acts of political intimidation being perpetrated by governments through the use of violence up to and including murder against targeted musicians and songwriters.
All of this must stop, and it must stop now. Once reported, appropriate steps should be taken by the global community of nations in pursuit of providing international protection and justice to the victims of abuses, including crimes against humanity.
Composers and artists rely on free speech and copyright protections in equal measure to safeguard our abilities to peacefully effect cultural advancement, and to create sustainable livelihoods for ourselves and for other members of our local communities. We cannot and will not abide by actions designed to undermine the pillars on which our social, artistic, and economic freedoms and lives rest, and pledge to do all within our legal power to assist in preventing the erosion of such rights –including the loss of life– whenever and wherever they occur in the world.
SIGNED BY THE FOLLOWING SIGNATORY ORGANIZATIONS:
Music Creators North America (MCNA)
The National Music Council of the United States (NMC)
Fair Trade Music International (FTMI)
The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA)
The Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL)
The Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC)
The Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC)
The Alliance for Women Film Composers (AWFC)The Composers Diversity Collective (CDC)
For more information, contact: Charles J. Sanders, email@example.com, 914 588 7231
The National Music Council partners with CISAC to present the World Creators Summit – the leading international cross-industry forum addressing the future of the creative community and the entertainment business in the digital economy. This biennial event brings together the world’s most prominent creative artists, government officials, industry leaders and digital service providers to exchange views on the value of creative works, the future of copyright, the role of creators, and the collective management of authors’ rights, as well as to offer solutions for a sustainable creative industry.
The importance of creators and their creative industries in today's economic, cultural and social environment is vast: they are a factor of economic growth, they employ millions of people, they play a vital role in the social cohesion of countries and they are essential to ensuring the development of the digital economy.
The World Creators Summit (formerly known as World Copyright Summit), will take place in Washington DC at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center on June 4 and 5, 2013 (with an opening cocktail party on June 3 evening). The event’s slogan, “Create – Connect – Respect,” encapsulates the event’s vision of a fair and sustainable environment for the creative sector.
Now in its fourth edition, this biennial event aims at establishing a constructive dialogue, exchange ideas, debate diverse viewpoints and discuss the remedies linked to intellectual property and creative content online with all the stakeholders in the new digital economy, from creators, rights organizations and guilds, to content service providers, broadcasters, telecommunications operators, hardware manufacturers, legal experts and policy-makers.
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Music programs nationwide are in danger. State and local legislators are attempting to make up for funding shortfalls in this difficult economy by cutting education budgets, which can place school music at risk. Advocacy takes place on many fronts, and advocates for music education need to learn to speak to different audiences, each of whom has a key contribution to make. Music In Our Schools Month – March 2013 – is a perfect time to get involved and do your part to ensure that America’s students have access to a comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
INNOVATIVE CURRICULUM ON THE IMPORTANCE OF RESPECTING CREATORS’ RIGHTS INTRODUCED BY THE NATIONAL MUSIC COUNCIL AND MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES
MONTCLAIR, NJ – As part of the “Music in Our Schools Month” celebration of March, 2013, the National Music Council (NMC) and the Music Publishers Association of the United States (MPA) have announced the release of a new, innovative education tool for primary school students designed to teach respect and admiration for creators, inventors and their works.
Developed by NMC Executive Director and Montclair State University Professor, Dr. David Sanders, entertainment attorney and Songwriters Guild of America counsel Charles J. Sanders, and award winning animation artist Bevin Carnes, the lesson plan and educational extension activities will be available to educators via a free website, http://www.IMadeIt.org. The program was created to teach young students the consequences of disrespecting the rights of creators, and how activity such as appropriating the work of others without permission negatively impacts upon creators and stifles creativity in general.
“This project is part of a world-wide effort by creators to foster an understanding that the online protection of creative work enhances freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, rather than encroaching on them.” said Dr. David Sanders in announcing the curriculum.” The rampant disrespect for the creative and property rights of not just music creators, but creators of in all types of media, has resulted in incalculable harm over the past decade not only to the individual creators, but also to American culture as a whole. It is impossible to determine exactly how many composers and songwriters have stopped creating because they can no longer afford to do so, but suffice it to say that the problem of Internet piracy which has resulted in the diminution of music community income by well over fifty percent since 1999 has been personally devastating to most. One of the best long term ways to address and eventually reverse this trend is through education, starting in the youngest grade levels, by teaching respect for creators and their rights.”
According to Bevin Carnes and Charles Sanders, however, the approach has to be a gentle one. “You can’t hit kids over the head with morality plays,” stated Carnes. “You just show them through a medium they understand and love, animation, that actions have consequences, and ask them to draw their own conclusions.” According to Charles Sanders, inspiration for the more subtle approach was drawn from the famous anti-litter campaign of the 1970’s, in which the tear on the cheek of a Native American over the mindless disrespect of litterers for natural beauty spoke volumes. “That silent, iconic image has stayed with an entire generation of Americans, who were convinced as youngsters that though it might be easier to throw trash out of a car window, it just isn’t right, and it has consequences for all of us. That’s the approach we’ve tried to take regarding the consequences of disrespecting creators.”
Sanders added that the curriculum also instructs educators on the finer points of teaching concepts such as copyright and free expression to older students who may view the two as antithetical to one another. “James Madison and the other Founders knew it in the 18th century, just as the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly stated it in the 20th and 21st centuries,” he said. “Far from being in conflict with one another, copyright protection is the very ‘engine of free expression,’ and promotes the advancement of culture.” Added David Sanders, “Again, though, students are asked to reason through to their own conclusions, and perhaps adjust their own behavior accordingly.”
The project was underwritten by the Music Publishers Association of the United States. Founded in 1895, the Music Publishers Association is the oldest music trade organization in the United States, fostering communication among publishers, dealers, music educators, and all ultimate users of music.
The National Music Council is celebrating its 72nd anniversary as a forum for the free discussion of America’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to amplify the positions of its music community members on issues concerning the importance of music in American life and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional musical activity.
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