Photo: Recording Academy
Recording Academy Advocacy Hits SXSW
"SXSW was the place to be again this year, and Advocacy issues generated excitement as well as packed audiences at the festival's conference and the Recording Academy’s Texas Chapter Block Party"—Conversations In Advocacy #49
The SXSW Conference & Music Festival were held March 11–17, 2019 in Austin, Texas, and the Recording Academy and its Advocacy team were there to amplify issues that matter to the community of music creators. Highlights included a block party put on by the Academy’s Texas Chapter and a panel on music copyright and the MMA, which included the Academy’s Senior Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, Todd Dupler as a speaker.
On March 14, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) joined the Texas Chapter Block Party, speaking to the crowd about his support for the Music Modernization Act, what he called the most significant music copyright bill in 40 years. Doggett also reaffirmed his support for establishing a performance right on AM/FM radio, as he noted he was the first Texan to cosponsor the Fair Play Fair Pay Act during the 115th Congress. Academy members and their guests were enthusiastic to hear Doggett championing the importance of correcting this age-old injustice to deny musicians’ compensation for their work.
On March 15, the Academy’s Todd Dupler joined a panel for the conference's "Copyright at the Crossroads: The Present and Prognostications." Billed as "a hard-hitting, copyright-focused panel on the impact of current legal and technological developments affecting the present and future music industry," a full house followed closely as the panelists discussed such weighty issues as the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Fourth Estate decision — a critical set-back for timely enforcement of creative rights. Artificial intelligence and holograms were also front-and-center, not just as burgeoning areas, but also because both have already taken firm hold in the music industry. Other topics included digital first sale doctrine, copyright terminations and the implementation of the MMA's comprehensive copyright reform — a progress we must ensure continues successfully. As Dupler observed, we are trying to "modernize an 8-track copyright law for a digital streaming music world."
After reflecting on the week at SXSW and the many conversations he had with songwriters and artists, Dupler penned an advocacy blog post regarding the ongoing controversy over streaming services and royalty rates.
2018 was a year of unprecedented accomplishment and the music community is poised to build on last year's momentum in 2019. Texas' SXSW helped show what we have going for us as we move ahead to next month's GRAMMYs on the Hill.
"Conversations in Advocacy" is your weekend digital tip sheet on music advocacy and the policies that affect music makers and their craft. New installments post every Friday.