Universal Music Group Distribution President, Jim Urie is back on the trail to enlist his mailing list to support the passing of bill S. 968. The bill is also referred to as PROTECT IP. This is really a bill to protect the RIAA (otherwise known as the lobby group for the major record labels), not musicians. This is the second go round for Jim. I do not support the bill as I think it's an innovation killer.
Below I'm posting the letter I sent to Jim, which explains my concerns. Here's the link to the letter Jim is asking his music industry colleagues to send to their representatives.
As Techdirt points out, online theft of music is not killing artists or songwriters, which is what Jim states in the letter he wants me to put my name to and forward. Nothing going on in the music business is killing musicians that I know of. Yes piracy is illegal, but it's at the point where it's a non-issue. There is no turning back for the record labels. I'm sure if illegal downloads were killing people, Dateline would have been all over the story.
I've alerted both my Senators, who unfortunately are co-sponsors of the bill, that I do not support the bill and I'd like them to distance themselves from it. If you're a musician or anyone who believes in creativity, I urge you to do the same.
I've worked in the music industry for over 25 years, so I've seen lots of changes. I knew the major record labels were going to have a rough time years ago because they refused to innovate, collaborate or release better music. Supporting S. 968 is a mistake for the music business and any other business. Stifling creativity and innovation under the guise that this will save the music industry is wrong. The industry itself is fine. It's the major record labels that you refer to and the difference should be noted .
Online piracy is probably affecting 2% of the musicians and that % may be high. A healthy music business is important to my livelihood, whether the major labels survive, is not. I managed bands for years and despite having gold and platinum records, they never saw a dime in record royalties from their record labels. Grant it, the labels did provide services for the musicians as well as rack up extraneous promotion, marketing and entertaining expenses without the full knowledge of the artists. My experience is that not selling CDs means nothing to 98% of the musicians.
I will contact my Senators (Senators Gillibrand & Schumer represent my area and sadly both are co-sponsors of the bill) and Representatives and ask that they DO NOT support S. 968.
I believe your take action message is misguided as written and there is no way for me to amend it.
Note: I sent this letter to Jim yesterday. As of my posting today, I have not gotten a response.