Saturday, December 05, 2020
Can't? Won't? Don't... (Pay)
The purpose of copyright law is to promote the progress of useful arts and sciences, by ensuring that artists and scientists have a fair financial incentive to create, discover, and to make their works and findings available.
That incentive is copyright, which provides creators with the exclusive right (for a defined term, such as "life of the artist plus a few decades") to control the publication, and distribution, and sale, and exploitation -or not- of their work.
Myriad people make a career out of work that they find enjoyable, but that satisfaction does not mean that they can or should be forced to work for no financial compensation and no material rewards. The same applies to authors and works of authorship, including music, and movie scores and scripts.
The Trichordist is one excellent source to read about a parade of horribles who have claimed that they can't pay artists (because they cannot find them), or who won't pay artists (because artists have no teeth, metaphorically speaking), or who simply don't pay.
From Know They Enemy written in June 2012, to What 1 Million Plays Means..., to looking into The False Double Bottom (of the MMA Black Box) some of the names may have changed, but the song remains the same (to coin a phrase). High expectations of the Music Modernization Act have been dashed -perhaps- as several hundred millions in streaming royalties have been withheld from songwriters.
Some have come to the realization that corruption disguised as incompetence (my words) can only be countered by strength. The CASE Act seems to be dying on the Congressional vine.
The copyrightalliance.org has some really good suggestions how sympathizers can assist musicians who cannot perform live concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Buying music from the band's own website is one of the best ideas.
As goes the music industry, so goes fiction and non-fiction. Musicians are the copyright canaries in the copyright coal mine.
It is alleged that Disney is dishonoring copyright and contracts with beloved science fiction author Alan Dean Forster. See here: https://www.sfwa.org/disney-must-pay/
Discuss here #DisneyMustPay. If true, this must not stand. If the same has happened to you, the SFWA may be able to help. Perhaps a good New Year's Resolution for writers might be to join SFWA and also Authors Guild. Not only do they offer legal help, they also offer group medical insurance plans.
All the best,