Days after the U.S. Copyright Register released a report recommending a number of changes to copyright law, Grammy members unveiled an effort to build popular support for some of those proposals. During Sunday’s Grammys telecast, Grammys President Neil Portnow announced the formation of the Grammy Creators Alliance, a pressure group it hopes will rally public support in looming legislative battles over performance royalties for radio and music licensing.
“For the first time in almost half a century, Congress is reviewing issues that directly affect the evolving music landscape,” the group said in a statement. “Much has changed over the decades, and the Recording Academy has established the GRAMMY Creators Alliance to serve as a powerful, amplified voice to advance policies that put music-makers first.”
Sunday’s announcement comes just days after the U.S. Copyright Register released “Copyright and the Music Marketplace,” a 245-page report which lays out a number of music licensing issues that are affecting everybody in the industry. “The reality is that both music creators and the innovators that support them are increasingly doing business in quicksand,” author Maria Pallante wrote in a brief preface.
The music industry continues to transition away from sales of recordings and toward accessing streams of them, and the Academy has long been lobbying the Copyright Register to frame debate around these issues. In January of last year, Academy members secured an audience with the U.S. Copyright Register to discuss flaws in the current system, and over the past 12 months, the Academy has worked with lawmakers to shape legislation related to songwriting income and radio performance royalties.
Different arms of the music industry have made attempts over the years to rally public support for their positions. Organizations including the Recording Industry Association of America and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry have launched initiatives to build public support for anti-piracy initiatives. According to Daryl P. Friedman, the Academy’s chief advocacy and industry relations officer, the Creators Alliance will spend the next two months attempting to build its membership before a full day of lobbying Congress in April.
The Creators Alliance is being advised by an unnamed group of artist managers. Many of the artists named as founding members of the Alliance, including Steven Tyler, Alicia Keys and Ryan Tedder, are represented by managers that belong to Maverick, a recently formed conglomeration of artist managers owned by Live Nation Entertainment. Friedman said a full list will be made available next week.