Entry #1: Musicians Versus the World

The music industry today can be defined as Musicians versus the world. With the rise in popularity of music streaming services since the early 2000s, the music industry was forced to evolve. Outpaced by technology, Record Labels, Distributors, and Songwriters attempted to figure out how to continue to make money from their music, while keeping it accessible to fans all over the world. The answer was music streaming. While growing in popularity, music streaming eliminated unwanted music file sharing and piracy. It also made the market more accessible to new listeners and unknown artists. However, it also created serious financial difficulties for Musicians who solely depend on the income generated from their royalties. “Most Songwriters are struggling financially, particularly those Songwriters whose only source of income is music.” (Orbay, 2021, p. 815) Currently, the payment practices of music streaming services as well as the two-part copyright law, have set up the Musician to fail from the start. Therefore, a solution is needed to address this issue that is vital to the survival of Musicians and Songwriters. One idea is for the U.S. Congress to abolish the current two-part copyright law allowing for direct negotiation between the Publisher and Songwriter of one copyright. Understanding the current copyright law and how it came into existence, can explain why the music industry became so unfair in the first place. It can also explain why it is so difficult for Musicians and Songwriters today to make money within the industry. In my next entry, we will take a closer look at the Copyright Act of 1909, and how the record labels currently apply the law today.

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