WHO REPRESENTS MUSICAL ARTISTS? THE RIAA SAYS THAT IT DOES. HOWEVER, HERE'S SOMETHING FROM AFTRA THAT YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ SINCE, THEY WON'T COME OUT AND SAY IT: IT SEEMS AFTRA (THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS) MIGHT DISAGREE WITH THE RIAA. THIS IS A RESPONSE BY E-MAIL TO A WEB INQUIRY THAT I MADE:
Thank-you for your question in regard to the RIAA. AFTRA cannot control what claims may be made by the RIAA. There are many organizations that claim to represent Artists and one has to look past such claims to see if that statement is true. The RIAA “represents” their Artists in any arena that may generate significant money for RIAA member labels. I can’t think of any action taken by the RIAA that didn’t have a significant impact on the income of a member label. Can the RIAA then state that everything they do benefits their Artists? Sure they can. Is this a true statement? The answer depends on your position in the recording industry.
AFTRA on the other hand, is totally focused on representation of Recording Artists. AFTRA does not engage in activities where Artists are a secondary beneficiary of those efforts. Artists are the primary and often sole beneficiary of AFTRA’s efforts. The AFTRA Sound Recording Code currently guarantees all roster Artists the opportunity for health insurance coverage. The AFTRA Code also provides Artists with pension, dental, life insurance and drug and alcohol rehabilitation benefits through the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds. The AFTRA Sound Recording Code is currently the subject of negotiations with RIAA member labels and certain benefits and protections provided to Artists and singers who work under this Code are currently in jeopardy as described in the petition you read on our national website.
AFTRA is the only organization or Union authorized by the labels to speak on behalf of Artists. AFTRA has proved to be the Artist’s voice in local, national and international legislative affairs. I invite you to take a closer look what AFTRA has accomplished on behalf of all Recording Artists and how AFTRA has restructured its operations to address the needs of Artists both now and in the future. And if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to sign the petition, unless you believe that the RIAA and the labels truly look after the best interests of all Recording Artists and would provide the protections and benefits found in the AFTRA Code to their Artists in the absence of AFTRA.