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The American Music Fairness Act : Pass The Act, Grammy U Calls For Radio Royalties

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American Music Fairness Act

In this op-ed, members of GRAMMY U argue that American performers deserve to be compensated for radio plays.

BY GRAMMY U LEADERSHIP

If you’ve heard the term once, you’ve likely heard it a thousand times: starving artist. It’s become a common notion in our popular culture that artists must go through a prolonged — or even permanent — period of financial hardship to pursue their dreams of, in our case, making music for a living. To some, this notion of living through poverty to pursue one’s passion may even be seen as noble and necessary for making truly great art.

But it’s important that we call this idea what it is: complete and utter nonsense.

To be sure, plenty of great music has been made from a place of want and hunger, both literal and figurative. If that’s how an artist chooses to live their life and make their art, far be it from us to stand in their way. But far too many aspiring musicians, such as ourselves, never get to make that choice.

The musicians of tomorrow deserve better. We deserve better. After all, we’re no different than anybody else. We want the same things that most people do: a fulfilling job that pays enough to get ahead; the ability to provide for ourselves and our loved ones; and the opportunity to own a home and build a good life. We just want to achieve those things while making music we love.

To do that, artists and musicians like us need to be compensated fairly for the hard work that goes into our music — but unfortunately, that’s not how it is right now. Songwriters get paid for radio plays, but performers do not. For decades, big corporations that own and control thousands of radio stations in the United States have refused to pay performers when they play their music on AM/FM radio. That’s right, they take our product and use it to make billions of dollars from advertising — and then don’t give us a single cent.

The most puzzling part of this is that it’s all legal. America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t require broadcasters to pay performers for their work. Even worse, in the too-many-to-count countries where radio does pay artists for their music, American artists still get stiffed  because our country doesn’t reciprocate. Imagine, the richest country on Earth, treating the people who make the soundtrack to our lives as if their life’s work is worthless — and allowing a bunch of obsolete laws to say that’s perfectly okay.

No wonder we’ve normalized the notion that artists must constantly make sacrifices to pursue their passion. With the status quo as broken as it is, how are young people like us supposed to make a career out of music without dooming ourselves to a lifetime of financial insecurity? Maybe a few will rise to stardom and headline arena tours, making them financially secure, but what about the rest of us? What about the everyday artists? How are we going to provide for ourselves and our families in a country that allows corporate radio to use our work without even the most basic fairness of paying us for our work?

It’s almost enough to scare you out of chasing your dreams. We probably won’t be able to fix everything overnight, but there is one big thing we can do immediately to start making this right: Pass the American Music Fairness Act.

This bipartisan bill was introduced in the House this summer. It would change the law so radio stations are required to pay artists when they play their songs. The legislation exempts small and non commercial broadcasters, such as college radio stations, but it would finally force radio corporations that can afford to pay to stop exploiting artists.

Changing the law would change the game. That’s why we need to make sure Washington hears our voices, loud and clear. 

If you’re a young person who’s working to build a career making music, or just a fan who wants the next generation of artists to have a fair shot, join us in signing this petition to tell Congress to pass the American Music Fairness Act right now. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a better tomorrow for the next generation of music makers: to ensure that our work is valued, that our future is secure, and that our dreams are possible.We may be hungry to achieve our goals, but that doesn’t mean we should have to starve to do it.

The 14 coauthors are regional chapter representatives of GRAMMY U, a program of the Recording Academy that connects college students with the music industry’s brightest and most talented minds. Each serves as the voice of the GRAMMY U members in their area, including:

Kalee Kitchens (Atlanta); Kirsten Calabrese (Chicago); Carlie Anderson (Florida); Alondra Lopez (Los Angeles); Emma Hampton (Memphis); Nicole Lewis (Nashville); Sam Merkin (National); Cyrus Burns (New Orleans); Dani Friedman (New York); Cameron Mangione (Pacific Northwest); Breana Phelps (Philadelphia); Cathryn Flores (San Francisco); Alany Rodriguez (Texas); Nia Burnley (Washington, DC)

 Currently the traditional fm stations in US do not pay artists for the music they play on radio but rather pay  songwriters based on the current copyright law. Neither the artist nor the studio professional behind the song get paid.

The Music Fairness Act is a good initiative because, artists, producers, performers and creators would get paid for radio plays and also there would be equality in the copyright law.

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These 7 K-dramas Will Make You Need Deliverance

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Korean writers are very popular for their romantic movies, but their horror dramas are so criminally underrated — and to be honest, I get why. The writers wrap them up like nice, funny, bright films And until you find yourself paralysed on your seat, your brain won’t register that you’ve been watching horror. Watch all seven of these at your own risk oh.

All of Us Are Dead (2022)
All of Us Are Dead is not a conventional zombie movie. It is unusually bright for a show with that many gory scenes and multiple jumpscares. It follows a group of secondary school students stuck in school which becomes ground zero for a violent zombie apocalypse.

Every time these kids fight for their lives against the super strong and constantly mutating zombies, your heart will be stuck in your mouth. But that’s what you like, right? Enjoy.

The Cursed (2020) 

The Cursed revolves around a successful IT company called Forest. Usually, rich companies like these in K-drama just means someone is killing all the owners’ enemies like ants. But the chairman of Forest, Jin Jong-Hyun decided to take it up a notch by using diabolical means. Since it’s one day for the thief and another for the owner, naturally, Forest gets involved in a huge case and a reporter,  Im Jin-Hee risks her life to unravel the mystery behind the case.

Goedam (2020) 

Goedam is a Netflix horror anthology series comprising a collection of short dramas, with eight episodes in total.

Each episode follows a new plot with different characters, and they’ll all make you do the sign the cross if you watch them late at night. Careful though, episodes one, two and six may give you heart attacks.

Sweet Home (2020) 

Sweet Home is a sublime balance of horror and thriller. It’s also one of the most popular Korean horror dramas on Netflix. The main character Cha Hyun-soo is a secondary school student who becomes an orphan overnight after his family dies in a car accident. Naturally, he wants to commit suicide and moves to an odd building where he can do that undisturbed, but then strange things start happening among the residents. He somehow finds himself fighting for his life amongst other residents battling humans who have been turned into monsters. It’s survival of the fittest in these streets and a gripping take on the monster genre.

Strangers From Hell (2019) 

The moment a TV series starts in a cheap-ass residential area, you know to expect the worst.

Desperate for a job, Yoon Jong-woo moves to Seoul from the comfort of his home in the countryside. He soon realises that he can’t afford to live in Seoul, so he moves to Goshiwon. The amenities and living conditions of the building he chooses are horrible, but he tries to endure till he gets a job.

Even worse than the building are his neighbours, each with their own secrets and eccentric behaviours. Across the 10 episodes, we learn exactly what those secrets are. Strangers From Hell isn’t scary, but the psychological thriller will leave you on the edge of your seat. Stay alert while watching this; nothing will prepare you for the end.

Kingdom (2019) 

For fans of dramas set in the Joseon era, you’d be amused to see how Kingdom weaves historical drama elements with a zombie apocalypse.

This drama follows Lee Chang, the crown prince, who discovers the outbreak of a mysterious disease. He goes on a mission to find the royal physician who might know something about the outbreak. But instead, he finds someone who worked alongside the royal physician.

The tension in this drama comes from watching people fight for their lives in an era with medieval weaponry.

Nightmare High (2016) 

Set in a private high school in Korea, Nightmare Highrevolves around several unexplained incidents that occur after Han Bong-goo, the new homeroom teacher, shows up.

Usually, a teacher is a nightmare because they’re giving too many assignments, but this man chooses a different way to terrorise his students, bringing all their nightmares to life, and kids begin to go missing. But no one notices until the class president points it out. The most unsettling experience for me was seeing a group of high school students obediently listen to a teacher. In what world is it possible to have such control over teenagers?

You may also like: The 7 K Drama Shows That Should Be On Your Watchlist 

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Amber Heard resurfaces for the first time since her Johnny Depp legal catastrophe

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Amber Heard resurfaced in Spain after having last been seen in Israel weeks ago.

Amber Heard has resurfaced in Spain after having gone MIA for a few months.

The “Aquaman” actress and her 1-year-old daughter, Oonagh Paige, were photographed in Palma de Mallorca on Friday while spending time with her girlfriend, Bianca Butti.

In multiple photos, Heard can be seen playing with her daughter on a swing set, walking with her and a group of friends and enjoying the European city.

It’s unclear how long she will be staying in Europe.

Heard, 36, looked happy surrounded by friends and her daughter, whom she welcomed via surrogate in July 2021, despite losing to Johnny Depp in their defamation trial in June. As a result, Heard owes her ex-husband millions of dollars.

In total, the jury ruled that the “Danish Girl” actress had to pay the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 59, $10 million in compensatory damages plus $350,000 in punitive damages. But after the counter-lawsuit she filed, in which Depp was ordered to pay $2 million, and the state of Virginia’s cap on damages, Heard was left to pay $5 million — money she says she does not have.

She since has asked the judge to toss the jury’s verdict.

Amber Heard carrying her daughter, Oonagh, with her back to the camera.

Seemingly to help pay her debts, Heard quietly sold her California desert compound for $1.05 million in an off-market deal.

Johnny Depp grinning with his hands in a prayer pose in front of his mouth. Getting Images

Heard owes Depp millions of dollars

The lack of funds hasn’t stopped Heard from spending a chunk of the summer in the Hamptons and then jetting off to Israel, where she was seen vacationing with pal Eve Barlow — a woman barred from the courtroom during the trial — and Oonagh.

As Page Six exclusively reported, the judge ejected Barlow from the highly publicized Depp-Heard trial in April for “live-tweeting, texting and posting information” while sitting in the front row, which is usually reserved for legal counsel.

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Watch actors playing Johnny Depp and Amber Heard testify about ‘insane, humiliating’ trial in movie re-creation

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Amber Heard‘s emotional return to the witness stand is recreated in a preview clip of Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial.

Megan Davis portrays the Aquaman actress in director Sara Lohman’s retelling of the defamation trial, which concluded four months ago in Johnny Depp’s favor. In a teaser shared by Tubi ahead of the movie’s Friday premiere (above), Davis’s Heard recounts the agony of having to relive her trauma during the trial, interspersed with clips of actor Mark Hapka’s own recreation of Depp’s testimony.

Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial

CREDIT: TUBI

“I have the right to tell the truth,” Davis says. “I have the right to say what happened to me. I hope I get my voice back. It’s all that I want.” Hapka’s Depp later adds, “This has not been easy for any of us. No matter what happens, I did tell the truth and I have spoken up [on] what I’ve been carrying on my back for six years.” The clip also features a peek at Melissa Marty as Depp’s lawyer, Camille Vasquez, and Mary Carrig as Heard’s attorney, Elaine Bredehoft.

EW has reached out to reps for Depp and Heard for comment on the film.

Per EW’s first look at the trailer earlier this weekHot Take will feature familiar touchstones from the trial, including Depp’s courtroom doodles, the intense scrutiny of Heard on social media, and references to James Franco, who was famously included on Heard’s witness list but never called to testify. Brittany Clemons, Angie Day, Marianne C. Wunch, Hannah Pillemer, and Fernando Szew executive produced, while Autumn Federici and Kristifor Cvijetic also produced.

Hot Take: The Depp/Heard Trial

CREDIT: TUBI

Following a six-week trial in June, a seven-person jury determined that Heard intentionally and maliciously defamed Depp when she wrote a 2018 Washington Post op-ed identifying herself as a public figure representing domestic abuse. Heard’s team filed to appeal the verdict in July after a motion for a mistrial was denied.

A spokesperson for Depp said in response, “The jury listened to the extensive evidence presented during the six-week trial and came to a clear and unanimous verdict that the defendant herself defamed Mr. Depp in multiple instances. We remain confident in our case and that this verdict will stand.”

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