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Topic: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

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  1. #1
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    Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Film Music Magazine reports:
    "US MUSICIANS UNION THREATENS $50K FINES AGAINST AFM COMPOSERS AND OTHER MEMBERS PARTICIPATING IN SCORES RECORDED IN SEATTLE

    In a Notice to Members, the U.S. Musicians Union (AFM) has threatened fines of up to $50,000 against AFM members who perform services including composing, arranging, orchestrating, copying, and other services related to film and television scores recorded in Seattle after October 1, 2006. The complete text of the AFM "Notice to All Members" is located at http://www.afm.org/public/press/seattle.pdf

    In the Notice, AFM President Tom Lee quotes AFM Bylaw 15 which states:
    "No AFM member may perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor, or in any other capacity): (1) where the product of the services is intended to result in, or be embodied in, recorded music made outside of the United Sates and Canada and the possessions of either; or (2) for the purpose of producing, editing, or dubbing recorded music except where expressly authorized and covered by a contract with the AFM or when expressly authorized by the AFM."

    ...It is not clear why the AFM has singled out Seattle and whether the AFM will be pursuing charges against composers and other AFM members who record scores in London, Bulgaria, and other parts of Eastern Europe."
    Doyle posted the full report by FMM here.

    This is quite a development. What do you think of this action imposed by the AFM?

  2. #2
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    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    This is quite a development. What do you think of this action imposed by the AFM?
    They probably hate GPO and other sampler libraries, too, not to mention those Eastern European Orchestras.

    Keith W.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Seems as if they've been quite for so long it was time to throw some weight around. Hmm, unions .... not what they were intended to be. Unions were formed to protect our rights not take them away.
    Styxx

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    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Well, I left the AFM after only a few years. I will only state that my views and the AFM views did not co-incide. I have no idea what to make of this action.

    Richard

  5. #5

    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    I too belonged to the union once upon a time. And I too left.

    Not just because there were things I did not agree with, but also because belonging did not help me make a living as a musician. Really, isn't that the point?

    My local was actually pretty cool. There were the old guard, and the young punks, and there was a definate distinction, but for the most part the old guard was quite willing to take us punks under their wings. I met some superb players, I learned quite a bit about music, both the art and the business, and I met some genuinely good people.

    Sadly, my exit from the hall was also the end of many of those relationships. There was an "us against them" mentatility that I still don't understand.

    This latest thing strikes me as grandstanding, and since unions have never tried grandstanding before it'll be interesting to see what happens<G>!

    I predict that this organization that set out to protect a group of workers that was sorely abused will become even more marginalized as a result.

    And that's really sad.

    On the other hand, if I am wrong then the music for soundtracks marketplace is going to become very interesting!!! Just imagine having to do all scoring projects according to union rules...

  6. #6

    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Another good reason to never, ever join a union! What a crock.

  7. #7

    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    This news confused me when I first read it... What exactly is the AFM? And why is it doing this?
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  8. #8

    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    What a load!!

    Composers, copyists, musicians, etc have no control at all in regards to WHERE their stuff is recorded! THAT is the studios and the producers' responsibility.

    Seems they are really going after the wrong people. SHeesh! I am so glad I am not a member. Of course, that would assume I was even GOOD ENOUGH to be a member oh well.

    Any guilds or unions like that who actually find you work and concentrate their efforts for something good? I'd love to break into the business in some fashion, but really don't have the connections or probably even the talent to get in. But it is a dream.

    Jerry
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by dbudde
    Another good reason to never, ever join a union! What a crock.
    I wouldn't make a generalization about unions. There are a few left still set on the intent of their initial purpose. In the beginning, it was all about keeping the average working person rights free from oppression and pretty much the very thing this article is depicting. If it weren't for unions of all types, our children as well as you would still be working 17 hour days 7 days a week for just about no pay to our standards of living today! Over the years unions became corrupt and suffered by the wrong practices by those that became greedy who headed up the organizations. Big business got involved and unions became a way to launder money as well as make some extra dough.
    Today, unions are not trusted and for some good reasons yet other's unjustified. We could argue for ever like politics and religion, unions are third among topics no one will agree upon right or wrong. The bottom line is unions are not the same as they were 30 to 50 years ago. Your rights have been compromised!
    Styxx

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    Re: Musician Unions Threatens Fines for Recording in Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by dbudde
    Another good reason to never, ever join a union! What a crock.
    My experience is the opposite. I'm still a member of the AFM, and they've done a lot for me. Over my lifetime I've received a LOT of money in the form of royalty and residual payments that the AFM got for me. I have a decent pension waiting for me when I retire from them. This is what unions do for it's members.

    But they can't do it when members take non-union jobs.

    I'm not sure if this is the right action for them to take, to fine their own member who do this. The musicians playing on these sessions are just trying to make a living, if they turn down the gig, someone else will take it.

    The world is changing and the union should try to find a way to change with it. As Doyle pointed out in his post, I think the union should come up with new session fees to encourage studios to use union musicians and record here. Not force producers to travel to Prague. I think they need to fix the problem from the top down because I rally don't think fining musicians themselves will fix the problem.

    Jeff
    Local 10-208 Chicago

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