The snarky essence to introduce this post roars the attitude of the US government toward songwriters, recording and performing artists. It’s a line from the movie, “Sweet Home Alabama,” Candice Bergen’s character, Kate Hennings, chipped out of ice for all the world to hear.
If you’ve been following the last couple of posts here, you know the US Department of Justice is into some kind of backroom deal to break up PROs and limit or abolish copyright law as it’s been upheld for the past 75 years. Common law and consent decrees are on the chopping block because the DOJ. Yeah. She said so.
Read the latest info by Copyright Officer Stephen Carlisle, J.D. http://copyright.nova.edu and be sure to read all his updates, or any updates you’re able to find as this tenably, untenable situation progresses.
Everyone on the creative end and the admin side of music will be screaming bloody murder beneath the proverbial balcony to the king like peasants whose ration of bread flour has been cut off. Make no mistake, everyone should be mad as hell.
It just won’t make any difference.
Moreover, a lot of precious time will be lost screaming and this enormous change will set careers back years if you’re not immediately proactive.
Being an old school publicist and digital marketing specialist has shown me a thing or two over the past several years and there’s an upside. Marketing like it’s 1999 is much more effective. The DOJ’s partisan hardline will allow musicians more freedom by taking the process all the way back to the time consent decrees were made into law 75 years ago. You can take it back in time even further if you choose.
The simple fact music hasn’t existed within the model we use now for very long in contrast to the existence of music over millennia is reason enough to choose your own path.
Start assessing your individual situation and forget what everyone else is doing. Release yourself from the online sardine can and stand alone. True artists insist on choosing their destiny without compromise.
Consider this list as the fork in the road:
If you have a publisher make an appointment to talk over your copyright history especially if you share co-writing credits.
Where you live is important and what advantage that affords you.
What forms of promotion make the most impact without using airwaves or the internet?
Who is your audience and how can you reach them without platforms like Facebook, Reverberation, etc.?
What style of music do you excel in forgetting about specific genres? You won’t be needing the genre tag necessarily.
Master the art of storytelling to create an experience for your audience.
Learn to talk about your music to the extent people will buy it without having to hear it first.
Consider vinyl for future recording projects.
Many times over music insiders have said the era of the rock star is over. Sure, some whose work has incredible universal appeal will reach critical mass. But on the whole believing music is about fame is a fool’s game.
Think of yourself as a craftsman instead. If you insist on notoriety you’ll have to figure out a way to make that happen beyond the realm of everything you know with one simple exception: It’s all about the song.