One would think that freelance work is lucrative. On paper, in theory, this is true. The reality, however, is very different. The sad fact is that 1.3 million freelancers in New York city lost an average of $6,000 a year to nonpayment. The reason for this is simple. There is no legal protection for freelancers. If a freelance worker is hired for a job, often he / she is not paid. They may be underpaid, paid late, or never paid at all. If they sue the company, there is no legal framework clearly defining freelancers’ rights in the way a regular W2 employee’s rights are protected. Even if they do win the case, freelancers have no way to actually collect what they’re owed. To add insult to injury, freelancers who dare to challenge having their rightfully earned wages stolen are often blacklisted. The situation is, quite simply, intolerable.
On Monday, 1/25/16, I attended the second public meeting of Musicians for Musicians (MFM). The regular DBDBD reader will recall my article about the first meeting wherein I mentioned that, as a milestone in the fledgling organization’s humble beginning, it was a successful first step. Now, MFM takes its second step.
MFM founder and president Sohrab Saadat Ladjavardi held court once again for the second meeting. The tradition of a musical interlude, started by Saadat at the first meeting, was led by Zikrayat leader Sami Abu Shumays. He led the participants in a vocal call and response that allowed the participants to experience firsthand the nuances of maqam based melodies.
Karoline Kramer-Gould & Blake Morgan (photo courtesy of Blake Morgan)
Back in October, Karoline Kramer-Gould, the courageous music director of WJCU in Cleveland made history and broke ranks with broadcasters by co-writing an open letter with me––to Congress––in support of artists’ rights.
She is the first radio-station music director to openly support artists’ pay for radio play, and she has paid the ultimate professional price, and left the station as a result.
So many of the issues we’ve been talking about for years are finally becoming part of the larger and more mainstream conversations about artists rights and an ethical internet. Seems like there is a little bit more than a slight draft blowing on house of cards that Silicon Valley has built. Here’s a quick recap. […]