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.
January 9, 2014Alan Willaert - AFM Vice President from Canada
Pursuant to AFM Bylaws, the vice president from Canada sits on the Musicians’ Rights Organization Canada (MROC) Board of Directors, and given the importance of this entity to musicians, I am proud to do so. However, many members still do not know about this important source of revenue for musicians. You must register in order to receive these royalties. Read on and register now!
MROC provides an additional revenue stream to the royalties that SOCAN pays to songwriters and music publishers. If you are a songwriter and a musician, you need to register with both SOCAN and MROC.
As prescribed under the “Right of Distribution” section of the Canadian Copyright Act, MROC pays to musicians “neighbouring rights” royalties, which are related to the broadcast and public performance of their sound recordings. This includes tariffs charged to commercial radio, CBC radio, XM/Sirius, plus businesses such as fitness clubs and retail stores.
As the only not-for-profit musicians’ collective in Canada that is governed by musicians, MROC also distributes private copying royalties collected from the importers of blank media CDRs. Sadly, this important source of royalties is diminishing due to the fact that the Federal Government refuses to extend the levy to devices such as iPods.
You should also be aware that MROC works for you beyond Canada. MROC has agreements with collective management organizations from around the world, including those in the UK and the US.
MROC recently announced the launch of the new Musicians’ Rights Database (MRDB). MROC staff is prepared to work with our members to make the registration process as easy as possible. Although many of you signed up in the early years through the CFM, you have not reported your recordings to MROC. Many session musicians cannot easily identify all the recordings that they have participated on during their careers and are overwhelmed by what can be tedious work. Therefore, they have not bothered to register their repertoire.
To make the process as painless as possible, please contact MROC staff (see below). They will provide the assistance required to receive the royalties that you have earned and deserve, as well as supply you with the tools to get the information out to colleagues.
While MROC continues to reach out to emerging artists and musicians who are actively recording, they are also interested in talking to legacy musicians and their heirs (estates, trustees), especially if these legacy performers still get airplay on Canadian radio or by international webcasters.
Royalties are an increasingly important source of revenue for musicians in the digital world and it is important that we defend their value and make sure everyone knows about these potentially significant revenues.
How do you sign up? You can sign up for MROC in two easy steps: Visit www.MusiciansRights.ca to register and then tell MROC about the sound recordings you played on. For more information, visit the above website, the MROC Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MusiciansRightsOrganizationCanada, or follow MROC on Twitter: @mroc_canada. Contact MROC by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone: 416-510-0279, or 1-855-510-0279 (toll-free).
Take the time to register with MROC. This is important to do now and for your future.