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Creative Community Urges Congress to Hold Silicon Valley Accountable

The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) joined with other members of the creative community in urging congress to take action to ensure Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other internet platforms address privacy and copyright abuses.

“Facebook, Google and other platforms post massive amounts of content often without the consent of the people who create this content and without compensating the creators. Congress should take strong action to ensure that musicians and other creators are appropriately compensated and credited when their work is used by these very profitable corporations,” said AFM International President Ray Hair.

In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica hearings last week, organizations representing over 240,000 members and 670 companies wrote to bipartisan legislative leaders demanding action. AFM, the Content Creators Coalition, CreativeFuture, and the Independent Film & Television Alliance asked Congress to ensure internet platforms protect users’ data, take responsibility the news and information on their platforms, and prevent the distribution of unlawful and harmful content through their channels.

“The same dominant internet platforms that have successfully connected billions of people across the globe and mapped the world refuse to take action to stop the real harms their platforms have enabled. They boast of their technological know-how and then claim to be powerless to police fake news, human trafficking, and unlicensed content on their platforms,” said the Content Creators Coalition.

“While we are encouraged by the recent hearings, Congress needs to do more to hold these platform monopolies accountable.” “Silicon Valley touts their size when bragging about their contribution to the American economy, but when they want to fend off regulation, they quickly retreat to ‘just two guys working in the garage…’ and claim that rules will ‘stifle innovation,” said CreativeFuture CEO Ruth Vitale “Big Tech has made it to the top of American industry when it comes to profitability. So, this is the time when they should take responsibility. They must do what they can to stop crimes from happening on their turf.”

“The internet should create important opportunities for expanded distribution, new audiences, and new revenue streams for independent creatives. That promise, however, can only be realized if online platforms and services, like Facebook, Google, Twitter and others, respect the personal and economic rights of consumers and creators and work cooperatively to ensure that those principles are observed throughout the ecosystem. We appreciate Congress taking the first steps to evaluate the extent to which corporate and legislative action may be needed to achieve that result,” added Jean Prewitt, President & CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.