End Creative Monopolies: Fight for the Future calls for a reimagination of artists’ rights in the face of mega-corporations corrupting the US copyright system to oppress artists & undermine social justice

Posted August 4, 2021, 5:04 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2021

press@fightforthefuture.org

Fight for the Future is calling out Instagram, Amazon, Spotify, News Corp, and Disney in a new campaign exposing how artists across all genres, including musicians, streamers, and authors, are being disempowered by corrupt copyright laws that expand monopoly power while undermining human rights efforts around the globe.

Activist & artist collective Fight for the Future has launched a new campaign to end creative monopolies. The campaign website, EndCreativeMonopolies.com, lays out a vast range of harms resulting from the concentration of creative rights and opportunities in a shrinking number of monopolistic corporations like Instagram, Spotify, Amazon, News Corp, and Disney.

The website reads: "Copyright is supposed to protect and encourage creators, but mega-corporations have corrupted these laws so that they are incompatible with digital society, social justice, and modern creativity. Big Tech and Big Content rely on the legal corpse of a bygone era to oppress creators. They shield their profiteering in a pro-poverty business model that devalues the work of artists and perpetuates the myth that creatives need to starve to make great art. It’s time to debunk this myth, address these injustices, and abandon our corrupt copyright system to reimagine artists’ rights in the 21st century."

Musicians, authors, visual artists, streamers, gamers, and more are increasingly fed up with the many ways monopolies are hoarding power and fueling injustice. Creators have been underpaid while rich investors funnel money into the back catalogs of deceased and wealthy artists; forced to comply with "moving goalposts" for compensation; abandoned by the platforms their creativity built; and intimidated from new works because of the expansion of ridiculous legal rulings. This campaign will organize artists of all stripes to demand an end to the current system and a reimagining of artists’ rights that breaks up creative monopolies and puts the interests of artists and the public first.

"It’s no secret in the music industry that big labels require young artists to sign away valuable rights in exchange for access to a large audience," said Lia Holland (she/they) Campaigns and Communications Director at Fight for the Future. "Publishers like News Corp do the same thing to authors, and right now Disney is being sued for conning Scarlett Johannson out of 50 million dollars to juice their stock market numbers. These mega-corporations are holdovers from a time before the internet. Today, there are no more barriers to reaching a large audience except the artificial barriers policed by monopolies themselves. With EndCreativeMonopolies.com, we are laying out the harms of our current copyright system in black and white: monopolies are getting richer while artists are getting shafted and the public gets less access to art. The internet is here to stay, and the monopolies gatekeeping art and grifting away our rights need to go. It’s time for artists across mediums to work together to reimagine artists’ rights, champion access to art, and end today’s corrupt copyright system."

For years, digital rights groups have sounded the alarm on how copyright harms artists by allowing monopolies to hoard the rights and opportunities that artists themselves would otherwise have. The new crop of creators in mediums such as streaming are particularly hard-hit by these oppressive laws, with DMCA takedowns threatening creativity and innovation on platforms like Amazon’s Twitch in the same way that copyright almost killed hip hop.

At EndCreativeMonopolies.com, artists and the general public will find an explainer video on the harms of current laws, a graphic series that illustrates how corporations are thriving at the expense of all kinds of creators, and more. Anyone can take action by sharing the campaign and signing the petition to end creative monopolies. Those who identify as creators can also tick a box to sign up to join a coalition of artists, musicians, streamers, and more who have had enough of creative monopolies and want to join the fight for an equitable system that puts artists and the public first.