• Clement S. Sealy, Jr.

Artist’s ‘Bill of Rights’: Artist Rights Alliance

Artist Rights Alliance officials recently announced their non-profit organization’s Bill of Rights and Music Council. The Artist Rights Alliance (ARA) is a non-profit, artist-run organization advocating for music creators for fair compensation in the digital realm. We work for musicians and songwriters.  Website

The ARA describes a brief outline of seven points of interest for member artists ranging from“the right to control our work” to “the right to political participation.

“Bill of Rights”

The Right to Economic and Artistic Freedom – including the right to fair market value compensation for creative work on all platforms at all times and a music ecosystem that incentivizes creativity, breadth and variety, diversity among creators and styles, and that nurtures and supports the next generation of artists.

The Right to Attribution and Acknowledgment – including ready access for all audiences on all platforms to credit information and liner note materials.

The Right to a Music Community – including fully funded public arts education and support for non-commercial performances and works so that creative opportunities, expression, and connection are open to all and society is broadly enriched by as many forms of art and as much artistic participation as possible.

The Right to Competitive Platforms – including channels of distribution, communication, and social media that are competitive, transparent, accurate, secure, open to all on non-discriminatory terms, protective of user privacy, and free of industrial scale piracy and any other commercialized theft of our work.

The Right to Information and Platform Transparency – including effective audit and transparency rights with respect to all platforms, services, and companies that use, distribute, or monetize our work.

The Right to Political Participation – including the ability to advocate for the recognition and protection of all these rights without retribution, blacklisting, or retaliation from distribution channels, platforms, or partners; and the elimination of restrictions on organizing and collective action in support of such advocacy.

This “Bill of rights” appears to build on some of the music industry’s business models that are designed for corporate abuse of musicians and songwriters. The ARA, in response, voiced opposition against Live Nation’s announcement of its 2021 artist compensation changes that require performers to pay twice their agreed-upon fee in the event that they cancel as “obscene.”

Rosanne Cash, Grammy winner, and ARA board member said: “We are so grateful to our Music Council volunteers who will join with us to advocate for our peers in building a more compassionate and enduring music economy. It has never been easy for independent musicians to earn a living, and it’s indescribably harder today in the current global crisis. We must work together to defend today’s hardworking musicians and to protect the next generation of artists," in a statement addressing the formation of the Music Council.

Council members: Here

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