If you’re going to have an authoritarian regime leading the country, you might as well have it cracking skulls and burning villages for you, right? At least, that was the music industry’s seeming position yesterday, as 17 groups representing the music business in its various forms—including “songwriters, musicians and recording artists, to artist managers, music publishers and record companies”—sent President-elect Donald Trump an open letter asking for special consideration of their myriad hardships ahead of his big tech summit scheduled for this afternoon, Billboard reports.
The letter is more than 140 characters long, so it’s questionable if the incoming Chief Executive will even read it. But what’s even more questionable is if he’ll remember this passage from the 2016 Republican Party platform to which they attempt to draw his attention:
Intellectual property is a driving force in today’s global economy of constant innovation. It is the wellspring of American economic growth and job creation. With the rise of the digital economy, it has become even more critical that we protect intellectual property rights and preserve freedom of contract rather than create regulatory barriers to creativity, growth, and innovation.
If you’re the president-elect, you’ve probably stopped reading by now. Otherwise, you might be interested in learning what these groups’ collective concerns are:
As partners, many in the technology and corporate community should be commended for doing their part to help value creators and their content. Some have developed systems to promote a healthy market for music and deter theft. However, much more needs to be done. Search engines, user upload content platforms, hosting companies, and domain name registrars and registries should follow others’ example to effectively stop theft and assure fair payment.
Further, there is a massive “value grab” as some of these corporations weaken intellectual property rights for America’s creators by exploiting legal loopholes never intended for them – perversely abusing U.S. law to underpay music creators, thus harming one of America’s economic and job engines.
Surely the world’s most sophisticated technology corporations can do better – by helping to prevent illegal access and paying fair market value for music with prices set by or based on the free market.
Assuming Trump even paid attention to the aide reading this letter to him long enough to get to this point, this is going to be a little bit of a hard sell for them. After all, not paying people for their work, declaring eminent domain, and exploiting loopholes are three-quarters of the pillars upon which he built his empire (the other being racism).
On the other hand, not playing fairly has always been kind of a one-sided obsession of Trump’s. When it works to his benefit, it’s fine. When it doesn’t, people should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. So, maybe their seed will fall on fertile ground. (Due to the subject of this article it must be noted that that phrase was not a sexual double entendre.)