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Music Groups to Trump: Computer Firms Can Do Better

WASHINGTON — In advance of President-elect Donald Trump's planned meeting with computer and technology company leaders on Wednesday (Dec. 14), music-licensing organizations, unions and others whose livelihoods depend on getting compensated for their content called on the president-elect to press upon those companies the importance of better preventing illegal access to music and paying a fair market price for legal play.

In a letter to Trump dated Dec. 13, the groups, which include SAG-AFTRA, ASCAP and BMI, gave the president-elect shout-outs for his support of intellectual and private property rights and wanted to make sure he was on the same page in meetings with Google and Apple and others.

"As partners, many in the technology and corporate community should be commended for doing their part to help value creators and their content," the groups said. "Some have developed systems to promote a healthy market for music and deter theft. However, much more needs to be done. Search engines, user upload content platforms, hosting companies and domain name registrars and registries should follow others’ example to effectively stop theft and assure fair payment."

They said that "surely the world’s most sophisticated technology corporations," which would include the nine-plus participating in the Trump tech meeting, can do a better job of preventing illegal access and paying free-market prices for content.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.