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Songwriters Are Creative Laborers | #MayDay2017

Updated: Dec 14, 2019

May Day has a couple of meanings. In the oldest traditions, the 1st of May has long been associated with springtime and fertility rites. The Gaelic holiday of Beltaine is an example of this earliest observance, and many people of the Northern Hemisphere hold similar ideas about this day.

May Day Daisy

Modern symbols of May Day including wreaths of flowers worn in the hair in honor of spring’s bounty, along with the May pole dances relate to the springtime and fertility cycles of nature, and also underscore the theme of sacrifice that runs as a thread alongside the observances.

As the coming highest tide of the year at the time of the May full moon, we see evidence that all earth’s cycles are pulled up into spring fever or heightened responsiveness illustrated clearly today by the many demonstrations and revolts happening around the world.

In modern times, May Day has become associated with labor movements including the International Day of Labor. And while songwriters are not eligible to become unionized in the United States under current regulations, we can imagine certain rights and responsibilities related to our labor status, and the relationship we as creative laborers have with our audience and customers.

Rights and Responsibilties of Artists

The Rights and Responsibilities of Artists was written as a simple framework wherein songwriters and other creative laborers can begin to have a cross-media conversation about how to address our common problem of distribution in the modern age.

I think we will find that a close examination of our distribution systems and partners will yield enlightening and fruitful results for creative laborers.

For when a laborer creates in the digital age, his work can be ripped from him without his ability to steward the resulting usages. The ability to steward one’s property is an inalienable human right that due to a variety of factors has not been properly and dutifully exercised by artists in some time.

It will take an educated, dedicated group of workers to carry out the needed changes, but together with likeminded groups such as the Songpreneurs community, we can and we will do it to ensure the future of useful arts and sciences for the next generation of creators.


What are the tools of creative laborers? Will all distribution in the modern time be digital? What other kinds of music distributions can be imagined? What kinds of educational initiatives can we undertake to help consumers transition into a sustainable music ecosystem?

Answer these questions or ask your own in the comments below.


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