The AFM has just concluded very productive and successful Use of Music meetings in Los Angeles. Held over the two days of March 23-24, the meetings brought together President Hair, EMSD Director Dick Gabriel, AFM Presidential Assistant Ken Shirk, Assistant Executive Director of EMSD Pat Variale, along with other EMSD Staff members with both Officers and Staff of Locals 802 New York, 257 Nashville, and 47 Los Angeles, and Recording Musicians Association Officers Marc Sazer and Bruce Bouton, with other Rank and File musicians attending as well. RMA provided a great deal of the funding for the meetings, which were graciously hosted in the facilities of the AFM/AFTRA Fund.
The meetings recognized on the profound importance of new use protections in AFM electronic media contracts. First, New Use payments provide direct and appropriate compensation for musicians when their music is used to generate new profits. New Use payments also protect employment by creating a cost incentive for live scoring. Work dues from new use payments provide critical financial support for the AFM through work dues, and educating musicians about the new use opportunities created by union protection is a powerful organizing and recruiting tool.
On day one, Wednesday, Staff shared information about how contract administration for the purpose of new uses currently functions; who plays what roles, and how new uses in the different areas of motion picture, television film, commercial announcements, live tv/videotape, etc. are identified, billed for, collected and distributed. The lively and open flow of communication helped everyone in the room connect important dots between offices, cities and entities.
Thursday produced a comprehensive exploration of resources that can help improve the workflow and productivity, focusing on online resources, adjacent organizations, Unions, Guilds and Funds, and more effective communication amongst ourselves.
The group developed a series of plans for new ways of implementing technology and new communication tools to both communicate more responsively with AFM members, and help collect more money for members more quickly and more cost-effectively.