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Nile Rodgers Warns MPs of Artificial Intelligence and Streaming Threats

'I just saw a post where superstar Snoop Dogg had streamed a billion. His remuneration was $45,000,' Rodgers said.

Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Rodgers gave his testimony in December 2023.

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Legendary producer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nile Rodgers has added his voice to the chorus of musicians warning that AI and streaming have created huge fissures in copyright infringement laws, in addition to making life worse for musicians struggling with financial issues.

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Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

In April 2018, Rodgers and Bernard Edwards "We Are Family" was selected to be preserved in the Library of Congress.

In a report published on April 10, the U.K.'s Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee published a grim warning, urging the government to protect the livelihoods of people who are "failing to share in the global success of the U.K.’s creative industries."

Rodgers, in his role as an artist, producer and chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, gave testimony in December 2023, and summarised these trends: "I have been doing this for 50 years of my life, asnd in 50 years, you would have thought that, with the advent of all the new technologies, people like me would have a much better life, that things would be easier and we would all profit together, but that is not the case."

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Source: ℗ © Sony/atv Songs Llc, Bernard's Other Music/Chic/YouTube

Chic - Good Times (1978)

Rodgers further stated that, "I was just starting out. I was homeless […]. Our attorney said to me, 'Guys, be satisfied with what you have, because any part of a million is great.' He was right; we made $100,000 in 1977. That was a fortune for a guy like me who lived on the subway. The sales of that first single went on to drive live tours, merchandise and album sales. Album sales was the real money, because our single was just for sale for 70-something cents; the album was for sale for about $8 or $9."

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Source: Eric Harlow/Mirrorpix/Newscom/The Mega Agency

Chic, 1979: Tony Thompson, Bernard Edwards, Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin and Nile Rodgers.

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Rodgers went on to compare his experience with that of musicians who are forced to deal with self-publishing and releasing music on streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

"[The money] was life-changing. I never did anything, and I made $100,000, simply because I wrote something that touched people's hearts. [We] were getting cheated every way you could imagine, because the guys that we had signed to had a contract that was giving them more than we were getting, and we wrote the songs. I just saw a post where superstar Snoop Dogg had streamed a billion. His remuneration was $45,000."

Source: Joe Russo / MEGA

Rodgers has written, produced, and performed on records that have sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide.

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The Committee reiterated its previous call for a "complete reset" of the music streaming industry to ensure fairness for musicians, and said that, while there had been some positive steps, the government needed to "move further and faster."


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