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Songwriters could benefit from unionizing and accessing employee benefits and protections. However, our classification as independent contractors prevents us from doing so. To classify as employees, we could follow the example of screenwriters and negotiate a new royalty and participation in more of the song's revenue directly with record companies and their trade organization RIAA in exchange for giving up copyright ownership. Unfortunately, publishing is the least lucrative aspect of the copyright, and it's the only revenue stream songwriters have from the songs we write. And for most of us, owning the publishing side of the copyright comes with little to no power or authority over our songs, so what are we holding onto it for?
What are the benefits if we're able to unionize?
Here are three points we'll begin working on immediately if we win a union election with the NLRB:
We want record labels and artists to pay a songwriter fee for The Right of First Release, one of our fundamental rights as a copyright holder.
We want record labels and artists to pay a non-recoupable fee to songwriters for services rendered, whether a song is purchased or not.
We want to create a health care program on which the songwriting community can depend.
Please complete this union authorization card below if you're a songwriter interested in joining a union.
Sign me up!
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