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ANNOUNCEMENT: Members of the Creative Community Reject the Revised FCC Set-top Box Proposal’s Creativity, Innovation, and Job Chilling Intrusion into the Creative Economy

WASHINGTON (Sept. 14, 2016) — A diverse group of creative industry companies, advocacy groups, labor unions, associations, and programmers that raised concerns in April and May about the Federal Communications Commission’s initial proposal to regulate the set-top box market, citing concerns about its potential harmful impact on copyright and content creators’ ability to be compensated for their work, released the following statement on the revised FCC proposal announced last week.

“The creative community, with near unanimity, has made clear from the start that we support competition in the set-top box market. We do not profit from set-top box fees and welcome new distribution opportunities for our creative content. But it cannot come at the expense of the millions of Americans who make a living in the film, television, and music industries. By all reports, the FCC’s revised set-top box proposal fails to address concerns we have repeatedly raised. Instead, the FCC creates an unacceptable and unworkable de facto compulsory licensing regime that requires creators to allow their work to be shared across multiple platforms without compensation and without regard to the creators’ rights to exclusively control their distribution. That’s authority the FCC does not have. This one-sided proposal undermines the value of creative works, shrinks revenue streams from which creators make a living, and threatens the hard-fought wages and benefits of creative industry workers.

As the U.S. Copyright Office observed in its letter questioning the Chairman’s original approach, content licenses are the foundation of the modern video economy and have ushered in an era of unprecedented innovation, growth, and quality in video and TV. But a de facto compulsory license would undermine this foundation, diminishing creators’ rights under the Copyright Act and forcing one-size-fits-all licensing terms on an industry that is as varied and diverse as the movies, music and shows we make.”

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Celebrating its 10th anniversary, A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City representing a broad coalition of 391 Independently-owned American music labels. The organization represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so it supports a key segment of America's creative class that represents America's diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine, using Nielsen SoundScan data, identified the Independent music label sector as 34.4 percent of the music industry's U.S. recorded music sales market in 2015 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry segment.

About American Federation of Musicians
American Federation of Musicians (AFM) is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. Whether negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators, the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape.

About the Copyright Alliance
The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing artists and creators across the spectrum of copyright disciplines, including over 40 membership associations, guilds, trade associations and companies, and 15,000 individual creators of all types. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org.

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CreativeFuture is a coalition of 450 companies and organizations and thousands of creative individuals encompassing film, television, music, professional photography, and book publishing. CreativeFuture promotes the value of creativity, expanded digital access to legitimate content, and the fundamental right of creatives to determine how their works are distributed. 

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About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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Founded in 1917, the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) is the trade association representing all American music publishers and their songwriting partners. The NMPA’s mandate is to protect and advance the interests of music publishers and songwriters in matters relating to the domestic and global protection of music copyrights. Learn more at nmpa.org.

About the RIAA
The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world, investing in great artists to help them reach their potential and connect to their fans. Nearly 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States is created, manufactured or distributed by RIAA members.

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