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ACADEMY FIGHTS "GIG ECONOMY" LAW

The Recording Academy and Music Artists Coalition is alerting the music community that they may need to band together and rally to fight the new California legislation affecting independent contractors.

In a statement, the two parties report that they have been involved in discussions with other entities in the California music community about seeking an exemption for artists, producers and songwriters from the AB5 law created largely to affect the rideshare industry.

They write: “If we are not able to agree as a unified music community, we will need your help.  We will need to organize our thousands of members across the state to convince Sacramento to give us the exemption we deserve.  You will hear from us about how to contact your representatives in California and other mobilization activities.”

The statement is here in full.

Dear California Members of Recording Academy and Music Artists Coalition:

  January 1 will mark the effective date of California Assembly Bill 5, commonly known as AB5.  Like us, you are no doubt concerned about legislation that would upend the music business practices in California. 

The law was well intentioned, designed to protect workers in the "gig economy" such as Uber drivers.  But as passed, the law states that anyone who provides services that relate to the usual course of the "hiring entity's" business is an employee of that entity.  

In music, that could make many artists, producers and even songwriters who hire other creators "employers," and mischaracterize many music creators who wish to remain independent contractors as "employees."  

Since passage, our organizations have been involved in fruitful discussions with other entities in the California music community.  A unified music business should have no difficulty in securing an exemption for our industry.  

However, if we are not able to agree as a unified music community, we will need your help.  We will need to organize our thousands of members across the state to convince Sacramento to give us the exemption we deserve. You will hear from us about how to contact your representatives in California and other mobilization activities.  

In the meantime, know that everyone is working hard to conclude the negotiations as a win-win that will keep a strong California music industry in California for years to come.  

Evan Bogart President, Los Angeles Chapter  

Qiana Conley Executive Director, Los Angeles Chapter  

Camilo Landau President, San Francisco Chapter  

Jordan Bromley Board member, Music Artists Coalition

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