3K+ Sign MWA Petition For Relief & Justice from Big Tech

At market close on April 10th, while tens of thousands of musicians and DJs across the country tried to access unemployment benefits, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google/Youtube had respectively earned $6.2 billion and $3.6 billion, for the week, according to Forbes Magazine. On that same day, the Music Workers Alliance launched an emergency petition directed at Facebook, Google and YouTube asking for relief and justice in the digital marketplace.

The petition has already gathered over 3000 signatures — among them some of the most accomplished musicians and DJs from all genres. We call on these corporations to pay 1% of their advertising revenue to a relief fund for the “content creators” whose unpaid labor generates much of their wealth. As live music work is shut down indefinitely and will likely remain so for more than a year, this relief fund must be made available to music workers for the duration of the shutdown.

Furthermore, recorded work is no longer a viable income stream due to mass copyright infringement enabled by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Section 512. The MWA petition calls for these corporations to put an end to infringement by adopting “Standard Technical Measures" (STMs).

Restoration of a fair digital market is impossible while YouTube — responsible for nearly half of all online music consumption — continues to profit while enabling mass infringement.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed many weaknesses in our social safety net and labor laws. The predicament of musical artists — the original gig workers — is particularly poignant. With live performances disallowed, music workers’ ongoing calls to address online infringement by adopting STM’s carry new urgency.

MWA’s petition represents the largest ever unified expression of working musical artists across genres demanding economic justice in the digital domain.

Short list of prominent signatories and quotes below:

  • Andy Stack (Wye Oak)
  • Ariana Paoletti (Volvox)
  • Austin Wulliman (JACK Quartet)
  • Bela Fleck
  • Beth Orton
  • Bill Frisell
  • Boots Riley (The Coup)
  • Catherine Irwin (Freakwater)
  • Charles Lloyd
  • Claire Chase (International Contemporary
  • Crystal Waters
  • Danilo Perez
  • Danny Krivit
  • Deena Abdelwahed
  • Delia Beatriz (Debit)
  • Emma Burgess-Olson (UMFANG)
  • Esperanza Spalding
  • Fred Wesley
  • Four Lost Souls (Bethany Thomas, John
    Szymanski, Jon Langford, Tawny Newsome)
  • Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady)
  • Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Henry Threadgill
  • Jack DeJohnette
  • James Newton Howard
  • Jason Moran
  • Joey La Neve DeFrancesco (Downtown Boys)
  • John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood)
  • John Patitucci
  • John Zorn
  • Johnny Gandelsman (Silk Road Ensemble, Brooklyn Rider)
  • Julie Covello (Dj Shakey)
  • Karriem Riggins
  • Keith Levenson
  • Kronos Quartet (Hank Dutt, David Harrington,
    Sunny Yang, John Sherba)
  • Laurie Anderson
  • Luciana Souza
  • Marc Ribot
  • Marea Stamper (Black Madonna)
  • Matana Roberts
  • Mekons (Jon Langford, Sally Timms)
  • Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards)
  • Mike Servito
  • Nels Cline (Wilco)
  • Nick DeSimone (Nickodemus)
  • Nicky Mao (Kiro Kone)
  • Noah Lennox (Animal Collective, Panda Bear)
  • Norah Jones
  • Osvaldo Golijov
  • Peggy Abrams, on behalf of Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians
  • Peter Zummo
  • Rex King
  • Rhiannon Giddens
  • Roberto Carlos Lange (Helado Negro)
  • Rosanne Cash
  • Roy Lamb
  • Sam Amidon
  • Terri Lyne Carrington
  • Thao Nguyen (Thao & the Get Down Stay
  • Vijay Iyer
  • Wayne Shorter