Photo: John Eye playing guitar on stage in Rhode Island.

Intellectual Property: An Artists Right to be Paid for Their Work

There is a lot of debate over intellectual property, and the rights of the creators of this property.  The discussion has gotten cloudy with finger pointing and accusations of hidden agendas. I think this is a perfect opportunity for us, the artists make a show of solidarity, organize our ideas, and help to educate the people who want entertaining content, as well as the leaders who are supposed to represent and protect our interests.

Let’s simplify the matter.

  1. If you work, you expect to be compensated for your time, correct?
  2. Taking something which does not belong to you (commonly referred to as “stealing”)  is universally considered wrong, correct?

If we can agree on these two basic points, why is there any issue with protecting the intellectual property rights of the creators in our society.

If you remove the ability for an artist to make their living from practicing their art, you create a world of part time artists, weekend warriors, hobbyists. The unfortunate result of that is you have fewer and fewer masters of their craft, and a proliferation of sub standard art. This negatively effects all forms of creation from literature, film, invention, to music.

The funny thing about this whole issue is that it only gained real attention when the movie industry began to take a major hit in revenue. For years the music industry had suffered the impact of this, but because musicians are far less organized than actors and studios, the issue was swept under the proverbial carpet. I’m not saying that any creative medium deserves to be protected more than another, but what I am saying is that the musicians need to be better organized when it comes to protecting their intellectual property.

Now I know everybody wants to call the record labels evil, but I think that is an issue to be dealt with separately, and if the rights of the creators were protected properly we may even be able to cut down on some of the corruption in the labels with less than moral practices. So lets not get into a label hating discussion here, and just focus on protecting the artists themselves, in reality the primary issue we should be concerned with.

Please consider showing your support to the following statements, and this issue by adding your comment to the article:

“I am a musician/songwriter and feel that it is my right to be compensated for the works of art that I produce. I also believe that there needs to be an intelligent well crafted law to protect my intellectual property rights as a creator of content, not written by lobbyists or corporations, but with the contribution of the people the law is designed to protect that safeguards my ability to make a living from practicing my art.”

“I am a supporter of the arts in all mediums, and believe that content creators should be compensated fairly for their work creating entertainment for society as a whole.”

Thank you for your time and please share this petition with all the musicians you know, fans of music, art, movies, literature, and  voice your ideas on how we can better protect our artist’s opportunities to master their craft.

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