Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ed O'Brien on the FAC

The first proper meeting of the Featured Artists Coalition did offer a cooler head than most music-industry groupings have managed, and so it's interesting to see Ed O'Brien's take on what went on:

Traditionally in the music industry two groups have been shut out of any negotiations and rights/revenue carve ups … and that’s the artists and the fans. The formation of the FAC is all about changing this state of affairs … hopefully we can not only do artists justice but also the people who listen to our music. After all, in order to be a musician you have to be a music fan …

Well, up to a point, Lord Radiohead. Didn't Anastacia give an interview a couple of weeks back where she effectively said she couldn't stand music? And there's a few bands whose work suggests they're producing music as part of some sort of grudge against the artform?

But even so, it's not entirely obvious that, because musicians love music, their best interests and those of the people who buy music will line up. Sure, it's great that the FAC does at least realise their customer base is something more than a bunch of faceless forms with debit cards, but I can't really think of any body that has ever successfully represented consumers and producers. And, as Ed seems to realise, trying to represent just musicians is going to be a big enough task:
I’m going to post up stuff about this because it’s an exciting time and also because there is going to be some seriously heavy PR aimed at us by the interested parties who might deem the FAC a threat …there’s a lot of fear out there in the biz….

But it's a Yes We Can moment:
Timing is everything and with a man like Barack Obama in the Whitehouse, it’s a moment to set up a really great and dare I say it noble organisation. That word is not often used these days, it seems a bit old-fashioned in our ironic, knowing times …. Well, too bad, I think it’s appropriate.

That might be more convincing had Obama not signed up so many RIAA representatives to key roles in his administration. Still: nobility. It's something to aim at.