Few people could have foreseen that in 2009 the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) would announce that 95% of all digitally downloaded music is acquired illegally. This leaves only 5% of potential revenues from all digitally transferred recordings to support the writers, artists, musicians and recording personnel who continue to produce the music that we all enjoy. The results of this epidemic are staggering, with over 70,000 U. S. jobs and 2.7 billion dollars in earnings lost in music and related manufacturing and retail industries, according to a recent independent report. The RIAA estimates the total impact of illegal downloading and piracy to be 12 billion dollars of direct and indirect revenue lost annually in the U.S. economy, and this during a sales decline that began over a decade ago. Stated another way, there is no resource on the planet that could survive on only 5% of its revenues. Something must be done to protect the art, industry, and creators of music from this hostile socioeconomic threat.
As with all crises, foundations have answered the call to raise public awareness of the problem, present viable solutions, and preserve the resources that are under attack. Foundations such as Greenpeace, Arbor Day Foundation, and Save the Children are just a few examples of how foundations have played a vital part in preserving our people, our resources, and our planet.
Music is not only an art form, but also an industry, and a resource that must be preserved if we are to protect it for future generations. Save the Music America (STMA) has been founded for this purpose, with the right plan to raise awareness and reveal the tragic effects of illegal downloading here in the U.S.A.. America is the largest innovator and exporter of intellectual property on the planet, but that status is in jeopardy.
STMA proposes to raise money through celebrity endorsed events and media platforms and to educate the public to the impact of illegal downloading, creating public support for the cause. STMA will use PSA's (public service announcements), print and online media, social networks, and educational media to raise awareness and demonstrate the repercussions of illegal file sharing. STMA also plans to create short documentary dramas to illustrate the very real tragedies which have struck those once who were supported by the music industry. These stories will help give faces and personal testimonies to the loss of income and career for the 'everyday' people who make up much of the infrastructure, such as audio technicians and marketing personel. Not everyone affected by this epidemic is a star or millionaire.
Our campaign will allow people to join Save the Music America and become a true fan. These fans will have many resources available to them through the web site, as well as alternatives to illegal downloading. Through industry sponsorship, educational curriculum, symbiotic corporate incentives, and corporate sponsored media, this website will be a true wealth of education and fan support to help reverse a declining music industry. You can help us as an artist, writer, or industry professional by adding your voice, support, and ideas for our launch and fund-raising campaign beginning in the fall of 2011.
J. Michael Miller
Barry Neil Shrum