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 1, 2023Alfonso Pollard -
With the installment of the new 118th Congress in January, leadership changes in the House of Representatives required our intrepid lobbying team to re-engage both chambers. With the help of House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) as well as previous Senate Sponsors Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), the American Music Fairness Act was jointly reintroduced in both chambers on February 2.
In the Senate, Padilla and Blackburn were joined this time by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), illustrating a strong bipartisan start for the year. In the House, Nadler and Issa were joined by Representatives Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Tom McClintock (R-CA). Early introduction is significant as we fully recognized that the broadcasters would reintroduce their opposing resolutions (H.Con.Res. 13 and S.Con.Res. 5), which was accomplished on February 6 and March 9, respectively.
Our lobbying team is led by the SoundExchange board, of which AFM President Ray Hair is a permanent member; former Congressman Joe Crowley (now senior policy director in Dentons’ Public Policy practice) and Dentons’ lobbying teams; and representatives from the most prominent music industry associations—RIAA, AFM, SAG-AFTRA, American Association of Independent Music, Christian Music Trade Association, Music Manager Forum, Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Recording Academy, Latin Recording Academy, The Vocal Group, and Future of Music Coalition. Our communication team is led by Bully Pulpit Interactive (BPI), a prominent Washington, DC, political communications group.
We are lobbying just about every caucus in Congress, with my focus on the Congressional Black Caucus.
With our tremendous success in the previous Congress, we will again be calling on you as AFM members to contact your senators and representatives. Thank you for your continued support. The creative property and performances of musical artists should not be exploited by terrestrial radio broadcasters for their commercial profit.
Human Artistry Campaign Supports Songwriters and Musicians’ Rights
The fast rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has opened up a world of challenges regarding copyright and creators’ rights. Virtually anyone can potentially create a hit song with the help of the chatbot like ChatGPT, but what are the limits? What’s more, what are the ethical implications of a technology that seemingly has no limits—and no concept of ethics or humanity?
To meet those challenges, the Human Artistry Campaign, was recently announced, with support from the AFM and more than 40 organizations, including the AFL-CIO, American Association of Independent Music, Recording Academy, the National Music Publishers Association, and many others.
With a stated goal “to ensure artificial intelligence technologies are developed and used in ways that support human culture and artistry—and not ways that replace or erode it,” the organization outlined principles advocating AI best practices, “emphasizing respect for artists, their work, and their personas; transparency; and adherence to existing law, including copyright and intellectual property.” To learn more, visit: www.humanartistrycampaign.com.