Conservative Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn is supporting Nashville’s largely left-leaning music scene by advocating for tougher action on trademark protections for music in the Chinese market.
The big picture: Economic abuses occurring in the Chinese market are affecting Americans of all backgrounds and emerging as one of the few areas of bipartisan cooperation.
- American songwriters are “indebted” to Blackburn for his advocacy, says Bart Herbison, executive director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
- “She’s been at the forefront of all copyright and intellectual piracy issues for 30 years,” Herbison told Axios. “And she goes on to talk about the looming giant of China and how we need to both monitor their copyright law violations and start a dialogue to move forward and bring them into the mainstream. mainstream of copyright clearing.”
Driving the news: China was singled out several times in the annual Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy report released last month by the Office of the US Trade Representative.
- Online music and movie piracy has plagued China for decades, though Chinese government regulators have cracked down in recent years as government regulators demand service providers remove pirated music and privacy laws intellectual property have been strengthened.
Blackburn was very early to the issue of intellectual property theft in China.
- In 2003, while a House Representative, Blackburn established the Congressional Songwriters Caucus, which focused on how intellectual property theft in China affected the creative community.
- In 2005, Blackburn introduced a resolution in the House calling on the Chinese government to step up enforcement against copyright infringers in China.
- In 2020, the first phase of the US-China trade agreement included provisions on copyright protection. The Recording Industry Association of America praised these protections, which included combating online infringements as well as counterfeiting and piracy on e-commerce platforms.
What she says: “From Music Row to Beale Street, our community of artists is what helps make Tennessee an exceptionally creative state. Music is a universal language that can bring Americans from all walks of life together,” Blackburn told Axios in a statement.
- “In Congress, I led the bipartisan fight to protect our singer-songwriters and ensure they are properly compensated for their hard work and talent. Fighting for our creative community will help ensure that the successes continue. to arrive.”
Yes, but: Ideological differences between Blackburn and some prominent members of the Nashville music industry still cause friction.
- The most public example of political disagreements between Nashville’s creative community and Blackburn came in 2018 when megastar Taylor Swift backed her Democratic opponent Phil Bredesen in the race for the US Senate.
- Explaining the reasons for supporting Bredesen, Swift highlighted Blackburn’s positions on LGBTQ rights and her votes against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.