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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Singers protest city song contest rules



ST. PETERSBURG -- A group of singers are urging City Hall to change the rules to a city song contest that ends Monday.

The rules infringe on US Copyright Law, the group contends.

Here's the e-mail they sent out:


TO: Mayor Baker, All City Council Members, Elizabeth Brincklow & Legal/Marketing Dept.
CC: Song Contest Judges : Dr. Cody, L. Clark/Gibbs High School, Ginger Gadsden/Channel 10 and Paul Wilborn/Palladium Theatre, All Local/National Media/Press Outlets, ASCAP/BMI, Florida Entertainment Lawyers, Musicians and Artists and Concerned Citizens of the Great State of Florida and The Beautiful City of St. Petersburg. 
From: The Striving & Starving Artist Committee for Creative Freedom and Ownership Rights.
Supported by: Several Local Artists, Musicians, Bands and Citizens Listed below (Wave 1…)
[email protected]
Greetings: Mayor Baker, All St. Petersburg City Council Members, Elizabeth Brincklow & Legal/Marketing Dept.
The Striving & Starving Artist Committee for Creative Freedom and Ownership Rights are sending this Petition to you in a mutually desired hope that you will Amend the current Official City Song Contest Rules to eliminate any current paragraphs or future addendum's that infringe on US Copyright Law and/or the ability of an Artist/Songwriter/Poet/Musician/Band to have to give up said Rights in order to submit/be considered or eligible for the Official City Song.
We collectively believe the current Contest Rules and Submission Form (links attached/included below) clearly demonstrates not only an infringement on US Copyright Law but a sincere lacking of respect or admiration for this City and State’s Artists, Musicians and Creative Community as a whole.
We see no difference in the tangible net worth of "One Writers Song" than say a "Dali Painting" or "Chihuly Glass Ornament " and the lopsidedness of this Contest where the City Owns the Rights to the Winner and All Songs Submitted is beyond reproach and borderline uncouth behavior from a City Government over its people by taking advantage of Creative Individuals that would love to have such a credit added to their life’s work.
Please know that even though this contest is created by The City and its desired lyrical content is requested to be geared toward this incredibly beautiful destination - One Song’s sales/net worth could end up supporting a songwriter for a Lifetime and we are baffled that in such a recessive time like we are in today The City of St. Petersburg would even consider such a handcuffing of its creative community!??!
Like “Chicago” (That Toddlin Town), “New York New York” or “Georgia On my Mind”... The St. Pete Official City Song could end up being a National Treasure and anyone (including The City’s Government) even attempting to claim OWNERSHIP over the Songwriter is to us unfathomable especially since there is not even One Penny monetarily awarded for its production nor shared revenues suggested.
We are even further confused for our current Mayor is a Musician!!??!!
And unless he has never written a song of his own (which is hard for us to believe) has he not personally expressed concern over these lopsided rules!!??!!
Please know… We are not asking the City’s Legal Dept to try and “reinvent the wheel” at this late juncture or prolong the contest any further.
We are simply requesting an Equal Win/Win!
The City holds the rights to use the Official Song & All Submissions as they Deem Fit.
The Artist holds the rights to use the Official Song a/or their Submission as they Deem Fit.
Secondary sales included with Ownership/Publishing Rights and US Copyright Law Intact for the Artist of Each Respective Song!
In closing…. All Members of The Striving & Starving Artist Committee for Creative Freedom and Ownership Rights fervently believe this Contest could be a Great Thing for the City and it’s Creative Community.
We are also in agreement with Mayor Bakers quote that “Music is a Universal Language”!
Let’s SHOW OFF this Beautiful “Sunshine City & Official Song” to the Nation and The World that it WELCOMES All Creative Types to it’s Current/Emerging Arts & Entertainment Scene  (*hopefully soon A&E Mecca!) and counter act some of our bad press/YouTube Moments such as: Tent City Slashings, Private Property Vs. First Amendment Struggles etc…with a Contest that Respects its Artists and does not infringe on Creative Freedom and Ownership Rights.
The City has amended the Original Deadline/Official Rules once already.
We simply/respectfully request they Amend the Rules One more time.
Amen & Thank You,
The Striving & Starving Artist Committee for Creative Freedom and Ownership Rights
Including Bands & Artists : KLIK, One Night Crush, Fall On Purpose, Mannequin Made, The Sheaks, New Violation, Dead End River, No Coma, Stephanie Monty, Chrissy Paolillo, Nik Sharp, Matthew Bistok, Senacha Lewis, Amy Hodgins, Sean Buckmeister, Avi Toorgeman, Hunter Oswald, David Rains Slanie and many more to follow….
Wave 2/Final Submission of Signers to City on Friday, October 23/2009
Protest Scheduled (*if necessary): St. Petersburg City Hall: Monday, Oct 26/2009 @ High Noon!

Cristina Silva, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:13pm]


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