The Taylor Swift Act- Protecting American Storytellers (Legislative Proposal)

The Taylor Swift Act- Protecting American Storytellers (Legislative Proposal)

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Warrior Poet started this petition to President Donald J. Trump and

Most people will be counted as lucky if they have in them one great, original song or story to share with the world. Whether a person writes many memorable works, or just produces one that captures our interest, we must recognize their inspiring words are chosen from the most defining moments of their lives and they should be protected. 

Just as the Muhammad Ali Act modernized the boxing industry, protecting athletes from coercive, exploitative contracts with managers, promoters, broadcasters, etc. (putting time limits on contracts, and preventing managers from also being promoters and/or broadcasters), legislation is needed to modernize and reform the entertainment industry, to stop the ongoing exploitation of authors of music and stories, and to open a new era of creativity In America.

The entertainment industry is presently organized to capitalize on such creative works while paying the original artists as little as possible, coercing them to surrender their intellectual property rights or remain restricted to the fringes of the marketplace, and making it nigh impossible to reclaim such rights once granted. Technology has opened up many new possibilities for greater transparency, individual participation, and profit opportunities for all parties, but historical, consolidated power dynamics in the industry have perpetuated an abusive tradition of pressing newcomers into signing away their rights in exchange for access to the mass market.

The Taylor Swift Act would create a mandate for the entertainment industry to move away from monopolistic practices and organize itself to allow artists to retain their intellectual property rights and participate directly more in the licensing and distribution of their work. The Taylor Swift Act would also mandate a fair and equitable process for song-writers and authors (or their heirs) to reacquire (buy back) any transferred intellectual property rights after 13 years have passed from their date of transfer (including but not limited to master rights etc, and all other future rights and uses, but excluding previously licensed uses in other creative works completed in the past- such as the sampling of one song in the creation of another, or the use of a song or a story in a movie. Exceptions might also apply to works made-for-hire where a work is written according to the detailed specifications of an employer.)

Maybe this is one idea that could get bipartisan support- please don’t spoil it by attacking anyone in the comments. If you like this idea, or you have a better idea, feel free to comment below. This idea could also be called The Prince Act, The Beatles Act, or the American Storytellers Act. I am not a lawyer or a legislator, and I could be totally off-base with this proposal, but I think my heart is in the right place, and I hope something will be done to correct the systemic problems that have caused heartache and financial struggles for so many great artists.

The general public may only be aware of high-profile examples, but many more artists’ lives are impacted by industry practices, losing control of their work and never receiving a fair share of profits. Furthermore, we may unfortunately never know how many people choose never to try to share their songs and stories because of fears that they will be exploited.

 

 

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