Steven Tyler recently wrote an open letter explaining his views on U.S. copyright laws, first published in the Huffington Post. The open letter follows a cease-and-desist letter sent to Donald Trump, asking the presidential candidate to stop using Aerosmith’s song “Dream On” during campaign events.
The musician is looking to spread the message that copyright laws need to change. “My intent was not to make a political statement, but to make one about the rights of my fellow music creators,” Steven Tyler explains in the open letter. “But I’ve been singing this song for a while now.”
In February, Tyler became a founding member of the GRAMMY Creators’ Alliance, which is looking to bring hope to the music industry and change laws that are currently hindering the music business.
Steven Tyler describes that the Alliance was organized “to make sure that songwriters and artists can practice their art without threat of extinction. To make sure those who practice their craft get paid fairly when other use their work.”
The Aerosmith star is clearly not alone in these efforts to change copyright laws. More than 1,600 musicians and songwriters visited their local congress members in their home offices on Wednesday (Oct. 14) as part of a grassroots program, GRAMMYs in my District.
There are congressmen who are now beginning to listening to the demands of music creators. “In D.C., I met with Congressman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia. This guy really gets it! His district in the Blue Ridge Mountains is home to some great songwriters and artists. He really believes that the laws need to change so that songwriters and artists are paid fairly, and he is doing something about it. Goodlatte has personally overseen 20 hearings on copyright reform over the past two years, creating forum so that creators’ voices can be heard,” wrote Steven Tyler.
The evolution of technology has had an enormous impact on the way our country consumes music, movies, news and other forms of entertainment. Copyright laws have not been updates since 1976 and it is time for these laws to reflect the changes technology has brought about.
“Big changes are happening right now in copyright reform as a result of massive technology changes and with the way fans pay for music and consume music. These changes can be a good thing for songwriters and up-and-coming artists, if we are paid fairly by those who make money using our work,” says Tyler. “Everyone deserves to be able to pay their bills, support their families, and do the work they love. Too many can’t because we are being shortchanged by new and old technology companies.”
Tyler concluded his open letter with a call of action: “We know you love our music. Now is the time to show us some love by supporting the effort to reform outdated copyright laws, do away with government standard for artist compensation, and make sure creators are paid fairly when other business use our work.”