Recording Academy Sets Deadline for District Advocate Day Registration – Billboard

The deadline for Recording Academy members to register for District Advocate Day is Friday (Sept. 8). The Academy calls the day, which is set for Oct. 5 this year, “the largest grassroots advocacy movement for music and its makers.”

On District Advocate Day, Recording Academy members visit the local district offices of their elected representatives to discuss issues affecting their livelihoods and careers. including fairer compensation for songwriters, performers, and studio professionals.

In a video message urging members to sign up, Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason, jr. said “It’s a chance for us as music people to talk directly to people who make the laws that affect us. …It’s crucial that the people that create and perform that music are not held back by outdated and unfair legislation. So, join the Recording Academy as we work to ensure that music and all its makers are valued today and into the future.”

Mason added that members won’t be sent off to meetings with their elected representatives (or, often, their staffs) unprepared. After members register, “the Recording Academy advocacy team will set you up with the materials and information you need to be a successful advocate.”

Focus areas this year will include AI, live event ticketing reform, the RAP (Restoring Artistic Protection) Act and the HITS (Helping Independent Tracks Succeed) Act. The RAP Act and the HITS Act were also priorities last year, but those bills have yet to become law.

While meetings are generally held in local district offices, some meetings are held in local community spaces like a recording studio, performance venue, or other music-related business.

District Advocate Day was created in 2014. It has been held every year since except 2021, when the Academy pivoted to a smaller, virtual “Behind the Record x Advocacy” Day.” The 2020 event, amid the pandemic, was virtual. In 2022 it returned in person.

Nearly 2,000 Academy members took part in the event last year, which was held on Oct. 6, 2022. They were involved with almost 200 scheduled meetings, reaching 75% of Congress. Meetings took place across 44 states and the District of Columbia.

Last year, Recording Academy members advocated for four bills being considered by the 117th Congress – the HITS Act, the RAP Act, the PEACE (Promoting Peace, Education, and Cultural Exchange) Through Music Diplomacy Act and the American Music Fairness (AMFA) Act.

So, what happened to those bills?

The PEACE Through Music Diplomacy Act was signed into law by President Biden as a part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act in December 2022.

The RAP Act continued to gain supporters after District Advocate Day 2022. The bill was reintroduced in the House in the 118th Congress at Grammys on the Hill Advocacy Day in April 2023; the Academy is looking towards it being introduced in the Senate.

In December 2022, the House Judiciary Committee passed the AMFA Act out of committee. The favorable voice vote — with no recorded votes against the bill — marks the most significant action by Congress on performance rights in the last 12 years. The bill was reintroduced in the 118th Congress by Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Reps. Darrell Issa (D-CA) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) in February 2023 with Recording Academy support.

The HITS Act continued to gain supporters in both the House and Senate after District Advocate Day 2022. This year, it was reintroduced on a bipartisan, bicameral level in the 118th Congress by Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Ron Estes (R-KS), and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in February 2023 with Recording Academy support.

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