Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
April 15, 2015IM -
On April 13, AFM President Ray Hair; AFM International Executive Board member (IEB) and Local 257 President (Nashville, TN) David Pomeroy; IEB and Local 802 (New York City) President Tino Gagliardi; the musicFIRST Coalition; record labels; and other members of the music community to support the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015, introduced by representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Marsh Blackburn (R-TN). This monumental legislation would finally ensure that musicians are compensated fairly when their music is played on any radio platform—Internet, satellite, or traditional AM/FM.
Under the current legislation, a loophole allows AFM radio to play music without compensating musicians, singers, and featured artists. Internet radio and satellite radio both do compensate performers, but satellite pays a lower rate. Due to another loophole, some digital services are also claiming they don’t have to pay for pre-1972 recordings. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act would level the playing field.
“Professional musicians should be adequately compensated for the joy we bring to the world,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “The US is the only Western nation denying terrestrial radio performance rights to musicians, who are struggling in today’s economy. Not only is this shameful, it is costing hard-working musicians millions of dollars.”
Hair explains that the problem even extends to music played overseas. US musicians and artists are also losing millions annually because other countries that do collect performance royalties are not paying US musicians, because the US does not reciprocate to non-US artists.
“It is time for Congress to update music licensing laws,” says musicFirst Coalition Executive Director Ted Kalo. “AM/FM radio, satellite radio, and Internet radio exist side by side in car dashboards and compete for the same listeners. But whether performers or copyright owners are paid, and how much, depends solely on what button you press or app you choose. On Internet radio, it is one rate. On satellite, it is a different, lower rate. And on AM/FM, there is no rate at all—music creators get paid nothing. I think we can agree that makes no sense.”
Join the thousands of musicians and music lovers supporting this bipartisan legislation (#FairPlayFairPay). Log onto http://musicfirst-coalition.rallycongress.com/17671/support-fair-play-fair-pay-act/%E2%80%8B.