Last week was illuminating–if you’ve ever doubted what we are up against with Big Tech, your doubts are surely resolved by the formation of the “Mic Coalition” organized to fight against artist rights. As noted in The Trichordist:
What’s different about the McCoalition is that we now see who our enemies are. Not only does the McCoalition include the NAB–an extraordinarily powerful special interest group long devoted to protecting crony capitalism and the broadcaster loophole–it also includes Google, Amazon, Pandora, the Digital Media Association (of which Google/YouTube, Amazon and Pandora are members), the Computer & Communications Industry Association (of which Google, Amazon, Pandora are members) Cox Media Group, iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), Salem Media Group, the National Association of Broadcasters (of which Cox, iHeart, Salem and Pandora are members), the Music Licensing Committee (of which Cox and Clear Channel are members), the Consumer Electronics Association (of which Amazon, Google and Pandora are members), the National Restaurant Association (which fought the performance royalty for songwriters whose music is performed in restaurants), the American Hotel and Lodging Association (which also fought the performance royalty for songwriters). And then there are the human shields at the Educational Media Foundation and, as David [Lowery] has pointed out, National Public Radio.
A combined market cap in excess of $2 trillion aligned against artists and songwriters.
And if that wasn’t enough, the whole group is organized by the Washington, DC shillery, Twin Logic Strategies–the brainpower behind the Internet Radio Fairness Act.
As a commenter called it, not the “Mic Coalition” but the “McCoalition” serving Happy Meals of Reheated Astroturf a la Mode. Would you like Benjamins with that?
I’m not a big believer in boycotts and I’m not suggesting one here. But I do want to point out that if you had any doubts about where Amazon stands on artist rights, now you know. And realize this: The McCoalition is a direct attack on middle class artists. McCoalition attacks superstars, too, but the harm that McCoalition brings is going to hurt independent artists and artists signed to indie labels the most, not to mention songwriters.
So why wouldn’t you want to point your fans to your local independent record store when you link to your records from your website or social media? Waterloo Records is a prime example–they devote an extraordinary amount of floor space to local artists (starting with the Texas Music wall when you enter the store). They have an extensive online retail operation and sell downloads, too. Waterloo is not the only local retailer who supports local music in their community.
And like I always say–how many in-stores have you done at Amazon?