New Sharpton Group Plans Music Summit
Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) civil-rights organization is planning a summit meeting early next month to establish a "dialog" between labels and advocates for recording artists, BilRev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) civil-rights organization is planning a summit meeting early next month to establish a "dialog" between labels and advocates for recording artists, Billboard Bulletin reports. The tentatively titled "Music Industry Initiative" -- scheduled for the week of July 8 in New York -- is expected to feature artists and representatives from the major labels, the Recording Artist Coalition (RAC), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
An NAN spokesperson says they will discuss a variety of issues, including artist contracts and royalties. "The [California] 'seven-year' labor statute will be actively discussed," the spokesperson adds. Last week, Sharpton and lawyer Johnnie Cochran said they plan to propose "radical changes" for the music industry.
RIAA chairman/CEO Hilary Rosen says labels already work with artists on multiple fronts, including piracy and Webcast royalties. "As for contract issues," she says, "artists are well represented in existing policy debates. For individual superstar contracts that Rev. Sharpton and Mr. Cochran seemed concerned about, their view is perhaps a bit out of date. Today, each contract is very different and regularly the subject of private negotiations." Rosen's comment apparently refers to Michael Jackson, who has expressed support for the NAN.
RAC co-counsel Jay Cooper says Sharpton and Cochran have "a lot of catching up to do" on the issues.