December 19, 2000

Indy artists say Napster is necessary

Author: JT Smith

Independent Music Artist Petition ...
Please add your name and email below to support the petition
We petition the Congress of the United States,

We the Independent artists of America, Singers, Songwriters, Musicians believe that we are tax paying citizens and should have the same opportunity in America to be heard on the Radio waves as any artist for a major label.

We are told time and time again by the Radio Stations across America that they are unable to play independent artist's music because of contractional relationships with the major recording labels. The results are the same, whether it is an actual written contract or whether it is a strong arm influence - they only play major label music. The genre we are mainly talking about is Country Music.

We believe that these culmative contractional relationships amount to a preditory monopoly on the air waves of America. The big, corporate major labels have sued those technology companies that have dared to enter into the music industry and provide an alternate distribution channel. The "rest of the story", that is not heard today is the why of a "Napster".

It is because independent artists are being kept out of the AM and FM radio airplay in America and have had to develop other means to get their music out. Airplay for independent artists is readily available in Europe where the "quality of music" determines airplay and not the major labels putting the squeeze on the Radio Station.

Fans are asking why can't we hear your music on the AM or FM radio? Well Mr. and Mrs. Congressman - why is the question we have for you?

Please tell us how we will ever get to be heard on American Radio, with this kind of "preditory monopoly" taking place in the radio station industry?

It is true that we can live here in America, work here in America, and pay taxes here in America but we have to take our music overseas to get airplay.

Why in the name of God do we believe we are in a FREE America. The discrimination is readily visible to any citizen who takes the time to look into this business. Equality and a open free market are just not the results of this type of preditory monopoly in this market, and we believe that it is time something is done to level the playing field for the independent artists.

We have started this petition, and every person who signs with their name and email address petitions for this topic to be added into the on-going discussions, committee meetings concerning techonolgy and music, and the FTC , the FCC , and other investigative Federal agencies start an investigation into the connection and relationships between the major corporate labels and the radio stations which amounts to a preditory monopoly.

We also understand that Low Power FM (LPFM) is a band of radio waves that allow small, independent radio stations to exist. The government is currently considering passing legislation that will damage this great resource before it really gets off the ground. They want to trade off our rights to the airwaves to big companies like Clear Channel Communications - who play all that corporate music - and want to stamp out the "little guys".

As musicians, we have to support the stations that are supporting us by playing our music. Again, we need to contact the FCC as well as Congress to let our concerns be known.

If you have any questions, you can send an email to Petition@JeansCountryMusic.com .

-Submitted by Jean Massengale

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