The World’s Biggest Music Producers Write a Letter to President Trump…

Dear President Trump, Can You Please Fix Music Copyright?
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Can the President of the United States fix a ‘broken copyright system’?  We’re about to find out.

The following is a letter from members of The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee, including GRAMMY award winners Rodney Jerkins, Ann Mincieli, Nile Rodgers and Dan Warner.  The Recording Academy is best known for staging the annual Grammy Awards.

Grammys on the Hill, Music Copyright Lobbying
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November 29, 2016

President-elect Donald J. Trump
Office of the Presidential Transition
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear President-elect Trump:

We, the undersigned members of The Recording Academy’s National Advocacy Committee, write to congratulate you and to reach out to you about the current state of the music economy for creators across America. The Recording Academy is the only organization that represents the interests of all music creators: the songwriters, performers, producers and engineers who create American recordings.

“In 2015, the U.S. music industry contributed $15 billion dollars to the American economy, creating jobs in every state.”

As your administration begins to chart its course, this is an important moment to ensure the continued viability of music as one of America’s greatest exports and as an integral part of the American innovation story, fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit of the men and women who make up the creative workforce. In 2015, the U.S. music industry contributed $15 billion dollars to the American economy, creating jobs in every state.

“These outdated laws… have weakened the value of American intellectual property in foreign markets…”

Today, music lovers have more ways to listen to music than ever before. But the laws governing the sale and distribution of music have failed to keep pace with technology, keeping music creators from receiving fair market value for their work.  These outdated laws, stemming from the turn of the last century, have weakened the value of American intellectual property in foreign markets to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

The Recording Academy and our members across the country are working with Congress to fix the broken copyright system.  We hope that the 115th Congress, with support from your administration, will conclude its review of copyright and act to support creators.  Copyright reform continues to enjoy bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and among a broad group of stakeholders.

We look forward to working with your administration to support the music economy.  We urge you to support reform of outdated laws and oppose any regulation that would diminish the value of these creators’ hard work and property rights.

Thank you for your consideration, and we wish you great success.


Nile Rodgers, GRAMMY Winning Musician/Songwriter/Producer
John Poppo, Producer/Engineer/Songwriter & Board Chair of The Recording Academy
Rodney Jerkins, GRAMMY Winning Musician/Songwriter/Producer
Ann Mincieli, GRAMMY Winning Engineer
Brandon Bush, Musician/Songwriter
Kim “KEM” Owens, Musician/Songwriter
Neil Portnow, President/CEO, The Recording Academy
Dan Warner, Grammy Winning Musician


White House image by Matt Wade (CC by 2.0).

6 Responses

  1. Smitty

    it’ll be interesting to see how Trump responds, or even if he will being that the music industry as a whole (along with the TV and film industry) supported Hillary for President.

    • The ODB

      ^ good point. He probably wants to lock up Queen, The Stones et al who asked him not to use their music. bwahahahaha

  2. Rick Shaw

    Seeing as how Trump is said to rarely attend transition meetings or read briefings, I doubt this will get on his radar.

  3. me

    Given the recent election, do you really think this issue is important? How small minded and selfish. Trump was NOT fairly elected.

    “In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania—and all over America—there were a massive number of votes that were simply rejected, invalidated, and spoiled. They were simply, not counted. Officially, in a typical presidential election, at least three million votes end up rejected, often for picayune, absurd reasons.”

    Congratulating Trump repugnant.

    • Mingo

      Yes “Me”, the issue is important. And as someone who participated in Grammy’s in My District, I found myself in the office of a congressman who is in a different political party than me. When it comes to promoting issues such as Fair Play Fair Pay, we need to work with our representatives and other elected officials regardless of political affiliation. If Trump is indeed sworn in this January, then we as musicians need to work with him and his administration.

  4. FarePlay

    Artists rights are worker rights and copyright reform has bi-partisan support. This could be an early term victory for Trump.