Can't See Us From the Road
I can see how an American citizen could be driven by personal survival instincts to vote for a certain politician in a particular party. Many of the issues our politicians run on are not the kinds of things that affect us daily in a very direct way…like, right at the mailbox, paycheck and/or bank account. How we feel about drilling off the coast of Alaska or men’s ties being made in China just doesn’t hit close enough to home for most of us. However, if one party is for a regulation that will have a negative impact on coal mining, and I’m a coal miner from Kentucky, then I’m probably going to vote for any guy or gal running in the opposing party and, with a great deal of conviction. That’s the kind of issue that’s easier to relate to because the conflict begins and ends right here on the mainland where we live. Since there are coal miners in many of the states all across the country, it’s a debate that can be felt in most regions.
Then there’s the issue that songwriters and music publishers face that also has to do with a government regulation put in place years and years ago that has finally become fatal for the copyright holders. However, this is completely impossible to relate to for most Americans because most Americans don’t actually know a professional songwriter or music publisher. We just don’t have an infrastructure in most states. We are largely isolated in very small numbers in only a few towns in a couple of states across the nation so, you can’t really see us from the road. Then there’s the problem of what citizens probably think of when they picture a songwriter…they imagine everything from Springsteen to Beyonce and they think, “wow, how could those people not be getting paid fairly?”
100 years ago when the government regulated our pay, it was 0.02 per sale and now it’s 0.09, ……again, one hundred years ago!! When they put in place the consent decree making it impossible for us to operate in a free market the times and reasons for such controls were very different from today. We are operating up-hill against regulations that were put on us years before Elvis, laptops and Abbey Road were ever thought of. Those regulations were put in to effect as a reaction to an action and fear. Times have changed so we need the reaction to change. The millennials and hi-tech kids, usually folks that don’t actually own any music copyrights, like to say that we should get over it and move forward with the changing times and even “adapt”… and that’s exactly what we’re screaming. The times and playing field has shifted so let’s see that change reflected in revisiting 70+ years old laws that no longer make sense. Dated government regulations are putting us out of business.