Ken Hatfield

Ken Hatfield speaking

I hope you all are hanging in there during these trying times. Despite all the hardships the music community is currently enduring, I’d like us to consider that there may be a silver lining.

This pandemic and the subsequent loss of gigs has stripped away the illusion that giving away the content we create in the hopes of monetizing our work via live performances and selling merch is even a remotely viable business strategy.

In fact, it has proven that approach is a fallacy! We should be making a healthy percentage from our work whenever it generates income. But that has not been the big tech party line. And unfortunately many musicians with dreams of fame and stardom were conned…. much like trumppochio’s supporters were conned.

Well the veil of obfuscation has been removed during this pandemic. As we approach 2021 and the Music Modernization Act (MMA) becomes operational, all Digital Service Providers (DSPs) will be required to purchase blanket licenses to legally “broadcast/stream our music. That means they (the digital service providers… like streamers) … not artists, are the ones that will have to pay for the rights (via blanket licenses) to make our music available online.

This is a real opportunity…. one whose significance has been magnified by the loss of live performance opportunities this pandemic hath wrought. When music is predominately accessed online, getting less than one percent of the revenue our work generates is clearly unfair, immoral and unethical!

So let us all come together in solidarity and STOP giving away our work. And let us all demand a fair and equitable musical ecosystem, one where we ALL profit from our work! Because the current system is not only unfair, but as this pandemic has demonstrated, it is also unsustainable! – text by Ken Hatfield (MFM AC member)

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