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Robert: "And I remain curious about your continued interest in how this blog benefits me. Evidently it's obvious that I must receive, or hope to receive, some tangible benefit from criticizing Tom; I can't be doing it just because I believe he's doing great damage to my union." My skepticism about your motivations is the result of observing the motivations of those whose interests you appear to be serving with your continued criticism of Tom Lee and the AFM. These folks care ONLY about their wallets. They don't care about the AFM, and they certainly don't care about the majority of AFM members whom they routinely dismiss as "hobbyists". They don't care about all the people that lose work as a result of the outdated protectionist recording agreements that keep them rich and protect their precious "special payments". They don't about anybody or anything involving the AFM unless it produces or threatens money in their own pockets. I've seen this mercenary behavior for years in LA - it's well known. For that same, small group of disgruntled musicians, it's all about them and their money, period. "Unionism" is nothing but a tool to fatten their wallets. They will say or do anything in order to protect their wealth, including attack the AFM with multiple well-funded federal lawsuits as we've seen time and time again. We can only guess what kind of attacks their "fund" may be preparing, even as we speak. Sadly, it appears they're playing you like a fiddle, Robert. Getting you to do their dirty work while they sit back and laugh all the way to the bank. We've seen this before - when they duped poor Andy Malloy (a nice guy and a very good player) into being the PMG President - all that brought him for his time and effort was a world of trouble from the IEB as the President of a union whose mission statement puts it into direct conflict and competition with the AFM. Robert, I know you believe you're on some noble mission, and far be it from me to burst your bubble. I hope, in the end, that whatever this "mission" costs you in terms of business relationships and time is worth it as far as whatever gains you're able to make for you and your constituency in Wisconsin. In the final analysis, regarding the RMA, PMG, AFM, Lee, Ayling, lawsuits, and so much more, we disagree. But it's clear you believe you're on an important quest to right what you see as wrongs with the AFM, and I would be remiss to criticize you for doing something you believe is in the best interests of those whom you serve as an elected official. Best of luck, Keys88
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Robert, I support your decision, and will post any further comments under my own name.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2009 on New rules for the sandbox at The AFM Observer
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Rick Blanc writes: "End anonymity." As much as anonymity serves a benefit and protection in some cases, its abuse on this blog has been outrageous. The lies, filth and depravity that it has facilitated in terms of the attacks on you makes it more harmful than helpful. As the last(?) regular anonymous poster here, I must agree with your suggestion and have decided to cease anonymous posting here after this post. Should I choose to post further, I will do so under my own name. Rick, congratulations on your excellent and thoughtful posts. Keep up the good fight.
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Bob: "Interesting that you should suggest I ask him privately for an explanation of his actions as president of an international union before I ask the question publicly." Your continuing fantasy about who I am aside, if you had the questions about the delays, why not just ask Tom Lee - privately, with a public letter, or whatever. But to raise the questions that you NEVER EVEN ASKED HIM, then criticize his actions when at most you have 50% of the facts (you don't have his explanation or version of events) is ridiculous. That is, unless your mission (or the one you're doing for your "new friends") is to simply raise any issue you can and publicly smear and attack Tom Lee without even asking for his side of the story. Sadly, that appears more and more to be the agenda of this blog... perhaps you should just change the title to "The RMA Observer" or "The Tom Lee Tabloid Trasher" for accuracy. I remain curious as to what benefit to your local, and more interestingly yourself, this continued attack agenda against the AFM and Tom Lee serves. If you want answers to your questions, there's obviously a lot more constructive way to get them (like picking up the phone) rather than asking the questions and launching one public attack after another, often about petty things, against the President of your own union.
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Not sure what Laura Brownell's replacement has to do with lawsuits launched by the recording musicians and the recording "wars", but I'll bite... Bob: "So why did it take Tom 6 months to schedule interviews with applicants for SSD Director after Laura Brownell announced that she was leaving SSD ? Why did it take Tom another three months to actually hire someone after the interviews? And why didn’t Tom hire the person who was recommended unanimously by the heads of the symphonic player conferences?" 2 good questions. Since they're clearly important to you, what did Tom Lee say when you asked him these questions? You did ask him, right? I mean, surely you would have asked him questions as important as these are to you before you publicly indict him directly and the rest of the AFM management by inference in the title of yet another one of your posts critical of Tom Lee and the AFM. Let's see what Tom Lee told you the reason(s) were for the delays before conclusions are drawn here - after all, there are 2 sides to every story... Awaiting your response.
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Rick Blanc writes: "And the mobility of the marketplace is the sovereign principle of capitalism which is why these RMA guys don't like markets -- and why I don't like them. Instead they cling to an anachronistic model of market control and organizing (like good Marxists) that they hope to get a few more miles out of -- at whatever expense to the business or other musicians." Perfectly stated, Rick. Milking every drop they can out of deals they know full well are outdated and are being eroded by growing worldwide competition bit by bit every day, every week, every month. It's a scorched-earth policy whose legacy for the next generation of musicians may end up leaving them nothing more than a recording marketplace in disarray, divided among an ever-growing number of global competitors - competitors whose very existence was enabled and fueled by foolish, short-sighted protectionist policies that produced short-term financial gains for a relatively wealthy few whose special payments were "protected" while diluting the marketplace and driving businesses into the hands of worldwide competitors ready and eager to deliver high quality recorded music at lower prices, no strings attached. Not a race to the bottom, simply lower prices and better deal terms. Basic business stuff. The recorded music business has evolved into a worldwide marketplace where talented and experienced orchestras are a mouse click and a wire transfer away. If the AFM is not going to compete effectively in this technology-driven worldwide marketplace, we had better get ready to kiss an awful lot of recording jobs GOODBYE. Is that really in the best interests of the AFM? How many jobs must be lost to foreign recording orchestras before things change? How many promising, talented musicians must be relegated to flipping burgers instead of working as a recording musician because of a lack of opportunity brought about by outsourcing recording jobs to non-AFM locations due to AFM protectionist policies? How many AFM members will continue to be willing to accept the sacrifice AFM session work to foreign orchestras and Seattle in order to protect the financial interests and special payments of the LA recording elite?
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Dear David: My post was in response to Robert's criticism of Tom Lee's allegedly not consulting "any player conference" in regards to the appointment. Robert went out of his way to criticize Tom Lee for this, and my post argues that given the lawsuits, financial attack warchest, etc it may not be reasonable to expect Lee to consult with representatives of folks who are busy suing the federation in federal court. Obviously had Robert's post not raised the issue of player conferences allegedly not being consulted, I would not have posted what I did. Robert opened the door on this, I simply felt it might be understandable why Tom Lee did not consult representatives from a group of musicians who are currently engaging in multiple attacks upon the AFM in federal court. As Robert is so fond of pointing out, I was commenting on the "process", not the personalities involved, as I hope was clear from the post.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2009 on No experience necessary at The AFM Observer
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Bob: "the lawsuits were filed years after Tom Lee began shutting the recording musicians out of any consultative role and instead began to treat them as an unclean minority, fit only for fleecing." Bob: "Also not doing this for gratitude. I find it most telling that the Sock still has no idea why I write this blog, or why I criticize Tom Lee. Hint: it’s not because I’m running for office, or trying to get into the good graces of the RMA" Hmm... On the one hand, you spout the RMA propaganda like a true believer... "unclean" ... "fit for fleecing" and on the other, you claim you're not trying to get into the good graces of the RMA. Well, try or not, you've proven yourselves to be one of their biggest cheerleaders in a very public way, Bob. I think the axiom "Actions speak louder than words" is especially appropriate here, or perhaps "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..." Yes, I know, you're not a "Bob". Well, I'm not a "sock" either... if you insist on nicknames, I'll play along. Bob: "As opposed to the recording musicians that the Sock despises?" Actually I don't despise them. They are highly successful, and good for them! What I do despise is the closed-shop mentality that some of the recording elite leaders seem to have, combined with the fact that their policies - while enabling great wealth for a relative few - lock a great many people out of doing AFM sessions for projects that end up going non-AFM as a result of these policies. People doing well is a fine thing, but if in order to maintain that wealth many more musicians are forced to do without, that's not fine. That's the rich staying rich at the expense of everybody else masquerading as trade unionism, and it stinks. Robert: "The RMA needs a real national union; symphony musicians don't have one and never did. What we have is a federation of locals, and for symphony musicians, the operative word in that phrase is "locals." Perhaps, but perhaps Locals need the freedom and flexibility to negotiate local recording contracts that reflect the needs, talents, cost of living, and particular requirements of their local members. Looking purely at a cost-of-living scenario, it's a lot cheaper to live in Houston or Atlanta than it is in LA or NY. We have many, many talented musicians in lots of cities across the country. These musicians may never have the opportunity to do film or TV recording work of any serious level in the business unless we restructure the business to create opportunity, not deny it - and that's exactly what LA/NY-based rates forced on everybody else does, stifling competition and inflicting a "one size fits all" pricing approach based on a total fiction in regards to relative local costs (that they're a constant). More competition will also help break the very unhealthy monopoly regarding contractors that continues to plague the business. Simply put, this handful of people have way, way too much unregulated, completely arbitrary control over the careers of musicians. The local pricing model has worked well for the symphony musicians - why not recording musicians? I know, I know, you'll sound the alarm about the "transportability" of music, but so what? Music is transportable, it's a fact, and has been for decades thanks to technology. Get over it. We have a far, far bigger problem of "transportability" now - people having music done in Seattle or Eastern Europe instead of the AFM, made possible by technology. Orchestras worldwide are only a wire transfer and a mouse click away now - can we really afford to maintain the same short-sighted protectionist policies that have created and continue to empower and enable so many of these competitors?
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If the radical recording musicians wish have a constructive role in decisions like this, they might want to reconsider their choices to amass a financial attack warchest and launch multiple federal lawsuits against the Federation. It is insanity to expect the AFM to "consult" with players who are attacking them in court on multiple fronts. And please, don't tell me "the RMA isn't suing the federation" - it's the same small group of musicians behind a lot of this, and we've already seen the offer at the RMA/IEB summit last year to "make them all go away" regarding the lawsuits. Clearly the lawsuits are not grass-roots efforts, and anybody who's worked in LA knows that the LA recording elite are a very tight-knit group. When the recording musicians decided to go to war with the federation, that was a choice they made, and choices - especially choices to sue organizations - come with consequences, given the legally adversarial situation that lawsuits create by their very nature. Lawsuits raise the stakes exponentially in situations like this and put everybody on the defensive. If the recording musicians want to start playing a constructive role in union decisions (instead of a destructive role by suing the federation), I'm sure everyone would welcome that. But it's a choice they have to make: constructive behavior, or destructive behavior. My suggestion: stop attacking the federation and start working WITH the federation and let's let both sides re-earn the trust of each other without the threat of ongoing lawsuits poisoning the relationship. I'll bet Tom Lee would be open to that, even after all the damage that's been caused by the lawsuits, warchest, PMG, etc. So if Tom Lee is open to this, would Phil Ayling and the RMA be as well? Time to de-escalate things and get back to the business of music.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2009 on No experience necessary at The AFM Observer
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Robert: "The AFM will not be destroyed because of one or two people cross the line of polite discourse in attacking individuals. But it may well be destroyed because its leaders see political advantage in demonizing a minority group within the union." And that's why we're at opposite ends of the spectrum on this, Bob. From my point of view, it's not the AFM who's filing the multiple federal lawsuits, attacking the Federation. It's very clear here who is amassing the warchest for more lawsuits, who is filing the lawsuits, and what the agenda of these radical musicians is. Now, we see them playing "nice" to other locals (like Phoenix), trying to gain sympathy for their cause, and taking a strong interest in the pension fund from what I've heard... Clearly trying to build support for the next convention. And you know what? Building coalitions and campaigning is fine by me - let's see an open and honest race for the AFM President. But when the attack lawsuits are launched against the AFM, that's where loyalty ends and mercenary behavior begins. Bob, it will truly take a born politician to spin the radical recording musicians' multiple federal attack lawsuits and formation of a competing guild into actions that somehow support and help the AFM. Your attempts to do that here on your blog as a sockpuppet (to use your term) for your new recording friends will no doubt earn you some gratitude down the line if they're able to gain control of the AFM, assuming they leave anything left of the AFM other than a back accounting office to process their own special payments. And remember - they've got the golden-parachute PMG to jump to if their lawsuits are successful and the AFM becomes crippled or mortally damaged in the process of fending off these continuing legal and financial attacks. The same might not be said of symphony musicians, freelance musicians, or all those pesky "hobbyists" that the radical recording elite despise so bitterly.
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Doug - Thanks for considering my viewpoint (sorry for the length!), and good luck with your orchestra situation - it's situations like yours that demonstrate how strong AFM members can be when they act with loyalty and solidarity - perhaps others will learn from this excellent example.
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Doug writes, "I think this blog would be much better if you did not allow anonymous postings. People who wish to express their opinions must at the same time take responsibility for the words they choose to use." OK, Doug, but in LA where a single contractor does the vast majority of top film/TV studio work, any critical comments said publicly about this contractor could be a very quick career-ender. We have no job security in this business, the contractor can simply stop calling a musician for session dates and that's it. No appeal, no contract, no reason need be given. And there's a long line of "loyal" (ie non-criticizing) musicians in line behind every working musician, ready to take the gig at the drop of a hat. How would you expect to still hear both sides of these issues if there was no anonymity? And as far as criticism of the RMA, who is very, very closely tied to this major contractor (they "arranged" for this contractor to be an AFM member, despite being a non-musician), that sort of criticism can be just as career-threatening given the cozy relationship between this contractor and the RMA. Bottom line: Nobody's going to put their career in jeopardy in order to voice their opinions on this or any other AFM blog - it's simply not worth it. An end to anonymity means and end to dissent when it comes to any criticism of the current RMA/contractor power structure in LA. If all you want is posters who agree with the RMA and their tactics, that's what you'll get... a bunch of RMA cheerleaders. Is that really what you want? By the same token, check out http://www.responsible47.com - the anonymous watchdog group that for years has published a newsletter that, despite being critical of some of the RMA and Local 47's tactics and actions (for example, when the former Local 47 President hired a convicted felon as his assistant), still publishes ALL COMMENTS sent to it, pro and con. The fact that these comments can be published anonymously has created an active dialogue, including both RMA supporters and those concerned with some of the RMA's actions. It's a great example of how anonymity has created a free flow of ideas and opinions on both sides of these issues, without forcing those who comment to put their careers in jeopardy by insisting they identify themselves. If anyone believes that responsible47.com has published something that is incorrect, they can write and it will be published from what I've seen. By the same token, I doubt the RMA newsletter would be so quick to publish letters and comments critical of the RMA. Indeed, it's interesting to watch some people howl about how the responsible47.com newsletter is full of "lies", yet there are never any details attached to these "charges". No specific "lies", just "lies". Very revealing. Finally, remember that the issue with 802disgrace's offensive posts that represented a direct personal attack on Rick Blanc, supported by lies, is not the anonymity of 802disgrace, it was the content of the posts. Anonymous or not, those posts were WAY over the line, and I find Robert's casual indifference to that content to be the real issue here, not whether or not someone puts their career in jeopardy by putting their name to a post. The personal attack that those posts represent was outrageous and inappropriate no matter who signed the post. And even if someone does sign the post with a name rather than a nickname, what's next... some sort of validation that if someone signs a post "Robert Nelson" that someone named "Robert Nelson" actually exists and is the poster? There's no practical way, short of enclosing this blog in an AFM-members-only controlled password-protected website, that you could ever come close to ensuring that whatever name gets signed to a post here is the actual name of the poster who is a current AFM member. And then what? Exclude potential AFM members (like music students and those considering rejoining the AFM) from including their voice in the conversation? In my opinion, the critical issues we are dealing with today are the ISSUES that are shaping the AFM and its Locals going forward, not the personalities and personal details of those who choose to offer ideas and debate the issues. That's the entire problem with the 802disgrace thread - instead of writing about ideas, he chose to attack a writer of those ideas personally here with lies and filthy, despicable insinuations regarding self-gratification and other repugnant references. Just because a poster chooses to avoid endangering his or her career by not disclosing their name doesn't mean their data or ideas are any less valid than those people who choose to attach their name (or "a" name) to their posts. It's the ideas that matter.
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Robert says, "One would be for me to actively censor posts. But, regardless of how gently I do so, that will be seen by anyone who is censored as an abridgement of free speech, and frankly I'm not willing to act as the acceptable language police. And the last possibility would be simply not to allow comments. I lean towards 2,1,4 and 3 in that order. But I would welcome suggestions." Strange how you don't indicate the slightest disagreement with 802disgrace's sickening, libelous personal attacks on Rick Blanc. I guess "anything goes" in your mind, as long as it's directed at someone who criticizes the RMA... If the target was someone like Phil Ayling, I'll bet your response would be very, very different. It is not the anonymity that is the problem, it's the malicious, false, disgraceful content of 802disgrace's posts in regards to Rick Blanc that is the problem. Beyond 802's inappropriate new obsession with personal bodily functions which he seems intent on mentioning in every post, his personal attacks on Rick (accusing him of, among other things, Nazi sympathies!) are way out of line and clearly are in violation of Typepad's rules. Speaking of Typepad's rules, your responsibility for this offensive content is clearly laid out: "You are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and Blog Site, and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the Blog Site, including those of your Guests." Strange how it's "free speech" when an RMA critic is being publicly attacked with malicious, obviously false claims from another on this forum and the moderator stands by and does nothing. Something tells me if it were someone other than Rick (or myself) that were the target of these attacks, things would be much different and we wouldn't be seeing from you, the host and moderator of this forum, such an attitude of casual indifference.
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Robert: "Why all the questions about a "non-organization"?" What's really curious is your hurry, as a symphony guy, to want to make those questions go away and minimize any and all mention of the PMG, its leaders, and its mission. Your allegiances and loyalties are showing again, Bob! Hundreds of members joined the PMG and paid membership dues ($100/yr, as I recall?) - given most of those are likely LA recording musicians, that makes questions about this group relevant. The fact that those membership dues have apparently not been returned and the organization's website has been kept open are more pieces to the mysterious PMG puzzle. Its officers (Sazer, etc) refuse to discuss the organization or even answer the most basic question about it, thus leading to more questions about why an organization would be so secretive about its mission and goals. If a new union for symphonic musicians popped up and got hundreds of players to pay membership dues and was written about in the national trade press (Variety), I'll bet you'd be asking questions - a lot of them. But let's get to the bottom line here, Bob: Would you say that it is a sign of loyalty and solidarity to one's own trade union to act as an officer and leader of a directly competing union? Yes, I know, the charges were dropped, but we're not talking about rules and regulations here, we're talking about something much simpler and not prone to regulatory technicalities: loyalty.
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Me: "the AFM has been left standing as the LAST organization on the planet that demands special payments for film/TV recording music and refuses to offer some sort of a buyout contract." Tony: No other organization on the planet ever had special payments! Me: Sorry for the poor choice of words - I'll rephrase: The AFM stands as the ONLY organization on the planet that demands special payments clauses for all film and television recording and REFUSES to offer what all other musicians unions and orchestras around the world offer: a buyout. Tony, you can parse the words all day long but it won't change the fact that by following RMA policy, the AFM has become the least competitive organization on the planet in terms of the terms it offers production companies for film and TV scoring. By refusing to offer any type of buyout, it forces work away from AFM musicians and into the hands of thousands of talented recording musicians outside the U.S. All to protect you and your arrogant little band of rich LA musicians. Enjoy your wealth for today, Tony. Something tells me the rest of the AFM is getting a little tired of doing without, watching these jobs leave the AFM so you and your pals can maintain your fat wallets.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Tina writes, "Is living in a buyout world a good thing? Could that have anything to do with our current economic crisis? How has it improved the lives of working people anywhere? Should Unions be working on changing that situation? Or do you really think we would benefit by lowering our standards?" The AFM lacks the leverage to reverse the worldwide trend towards buyouts for recorded music for film and television - that's the simple answer. There are too many skilled orchestras worldwide, and the AFM has been left standing as the LAST organization on the planet that demands special payments for film/TV recording music and refuses to offer some sort of a buyout contract. I would bet that ever AFM member would love to live in a world where every gig had "special payments", but that world hasn't existed for 25 years at least. Tina: "There are talented musicians everywhere who are willing to perform jobs for free because they consider music performance a hobby, have day jobs and don’t realize the negative impact they have on the profession, or believe when they’re told that with exposure they’re going to get a big recording contract. Should the AFM just sit back and watch it happen or work on organizing and educating those musicians so we can bring up the standards?" Again, consider the lack of leverage of the AFM today. And also, please don't bundle in "working for free" with "adopting buyout contracts like the rest of the world offers" - there's obviously a huge difference. The "free music" argument is completely different than discussing how the AFM should respond to the worldwide adoption of buyout recording agreements. Also, I remember a post you made a month or so ago about how you were proposing that the government slap massive tariffs on imported goods to support US unions. What, exactly, do you think the response of the US public would be when things at Wal-Mart went up in price by a scale of 10 times? That's probably an understatement of the cost differential of goods made in China vs. the same goods made in the US. Are you ready to pay 10 times more for clothing, toys for kids, and so many of the other items currently made in cheaper-labor locales like China? I doubt it. If you've got an realistic ideas about how the AFM can effectively compete when the rest of the world is offering buyout contracts for score recording and many of these orchestras record remote via the Internet so they're no more than a wire transfer and a mouse click away, I'd be very interested in hearing them.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Rick Blanc's response at The AFM Observer
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Robert: "Would you like me to post a link to the AFM bylaws so you can see it for yourself? That's assuming that you don't have a very well-thumbed copy, which I regard as a very unsafe assumption indeed." Yes, please. Despite the wild conspiracy theories concocted by some on this blog, I'm sorry to report that I"m just one person, and frankly have never seen or heard of the Roehl report before you mentioned it here. I didn't imply the commmittee was a RMA creation, I merely responded because Marc Sazer proposed here that it be created. Seems like a good idea to me, based on what's been discussed so far. Robert - we can fantasize all day long about who might be representing who on this blog, and where agendas might be coming from, but it would be a whole lot simpler if we just stuck to the issues. This committee sounds like a reasonable idea, assuming the functions and authority of the committee were reasonable - I think Phil was saying he had information about that?
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Robert writes, "The Sock tries to change the subject" Me: No, just asking questions about this oversight committee that Marc Sazer proposed. Robert: "An Electronic Media Services Division Steering Committee be established that should be a small number of RMA officers to be determined in consultation with that conference, plus a media representative from the symphonic conferences." Me: Thank you for that. I have never seen the Roehl report, so I didn't know that. Robert: "The actual role and responsibilities of the EMSD Steering Committee were not specifically addressed by Bill Roehl in his report, although the name “Steering Committee” certainly implies a central role in determining how EMSD would function and what it would try to achieve." Me: Hmm.. no actual role or responsibilities for this committee defined. Sounds dangerously like a blank check. Perhaps Robert, Marc or Phil, or someone else from your team could propose what this committee would actually do in terms of specific actions and areas of responsibility? There's no point in forming a committee without specific responsibilities. Phil: "The 2005 Convention adopted Article 6 Section 5, which enumerates some specific functions for the EMSD Oversight Committee. As part of the Law and Finance Committee's deliberations and report, the members and function of the EMSD Oversight Committee were referenced." Me: Great - sounds like we have some more data. Can you provide any details of the function of the committee? From what you've said so far, it sounds like a reasonable check and balance in the big picture.
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Repetition? We've actually moved on to your specific proposal about the oversight committee. Here is the question in response to your proposal: * Who will be (or, who do you propose to be) on the Oversight Committee? Can you specify what the Bylaws and/or the Roehl Report call for in terms of deciding who makes up this committee? What do you see the role and responsibilities of this committee being? Regarding your proposal that "Perhaps following the Bylaws would be a good start", the question for you in response to this was whether you want to follow ALL the bylaws, specifically Article 15 Section 3?
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Marc Sazer writes, "AFM Bylaws and the Roehl Report call for an EMSD Oversight Committee. I know this is acceptable to recording musicians; we have repeatedly asked for it to be implemented. Perhaps following the Bylaws would be a good start. Is that acceptable to both sides?" As an observer, I represent neither side, but your proposal certainly sounds reasonable. Now to the nitty-gritty - who will be on the Oversight Committee? Can you specify what the Bylaws and/or the Roehl Report call for in terms of deciding who makes up this committee? This is critical, especially given the choice of the recording musicians to create an extreme adversarial legal situation by suing the AFM on multiple fronts and building a warchest for further legal action. It forces the AFM by necessity (not to mention basic legal strategy) to take a defensive posture on anything involving recording musicians. And since you suggested following the Bylaws - do you mean ALL the bylaws, or only the ones you want to follow...? Yes, I'm referring to Article 15 Section 3: "3(a) No AFM member may perform services (whether as composer, arranger, copyist, proofreader, instrumentalist, leader, contractor, cutter, editor, or in any other capacity): (1) where the product of the services is intended to result in, or be embodied in, recorded music made outside of the United Sates and Canada" Marc, I would hate to think that you only want to follow SOME of the bylaws - the ones you like, that is... Assuming you're proposing following ALL the by-laws, how do you propose applying this one to AFM and RMA members - some quite prominent who have reportedly worked on Seattle projects in direct violation of this Bylaw? Since you made a specific proposal (thank you!), I'll make one: Members guilty of working on Seattle projects in violation of Article 15 Section 3 will admit to their violations and pay a nominal fine (maybe $50/film), with the promise to never again work on non-AFM projects in violation of this Bylaw and the agreement to pay a hefty fine should they ever break that promise. As with all AFM fines, the names and amounts of the fines should be published - hopefully that will motivate those who are considering violating this Bylaw to think twice. Acceptable to you, Marc? If not, why?
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Robert writes, "And, like a true apparatchik, the Sock can't conceive of criticizing an elected officer without being in the tank for someone." Fair criticism is one thing, especially for elected leaders, but you seem to be making an online career out of targeting Tom Lee with one criticism after another. The vast majority of the articles you post about here directly or by inference criticize Tom Lee, from his Michael Jackson email on down. Perhaps it would be more constructive if you made some specific proposals to resolve the problems you so frequently point out. Since you have so many issues with how the AFM treats your buddies the recording musicians, what specific contract points do YOU propose that would resolve the issue and be acceptable to both sides? And please, let's not start with "it's up to the recording musicians to work with the AFM..." Of course it is, but you clearly have no problems taking shots at the AFM's solution to part of this (the promulgated agreements), so instead of the constant complaining about this or that relating to Tom Lee, how about we discuss some specific issues - and more importantly - specific proposals to resolve those issues that both sides can live with?
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Robert: "Do you really think I'm getting paid by someone to do this, or expect some kind of political pay-off down the road?" I think your work here functions to benefit a group that you have no apparent ties with (the radical recording musicians). Why you would engage in constant, public attacks on Tom Lee that benefit these people is a real mystery, and leads me to believe that there must be more going on than meets the eye here. What, exactly, that may be is unknown and I and others can only guess and theorize. But for an admitted non-recording musician, your rabid defense of every stunt they pull and their federal lawsuits they use to attack the AFM, combined with your nonstop criticism of their #1 target Tom Lee, demonstrates a loyalty and allegiance that's hard to ignore.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Drip, drip, drip... sad that you apparently have nothing better to talk about than yet another complaint about Tom Lee. Your obsession with pointing out his smallest flaws is amazing - if you're going to run against him (which I still think is a possibility), you're going have to do better than this, Robert. What's next, interviews with his jilted high school ex-girlfriends? Commentaries on his height and/or weight? If you're not running, congratulations on being an excellent propagandist for whoever is. But a note to your patrons, benefactors, or whoever you're doing this on behalf of: focus on the big picture.
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2009 on Not just the RMA at The AFM Observer
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Marc Sazer writes, "How often has the IEB filed charges against a member? And how many times have they had to back down?" Uh, I believe it was Sam Folio, not the IEB, who filed the charges. MS continues, "It is not gratifying to be attacked and accused of secrecy, of hiding things, by anonymous ghosts of blogdom." It is a historical fact demonstrated on this very blog that you refuse to answer basic questions about the mission, goals, and current purpose of the PMG, the organization of which you are the Vice President. You can spin all you want, but you're clearly hiding and keeping secret even the most basic information about this secretive guild that represents direct competition to the AFM by its very mission statement published on the website. When you and your pals create and fund a competing guild to the AFM and then refuse to answer even the most basic questions about it, what do you honestly expect people to do?? Do you expect the AFM and the IEB to congratulate you for doing what some consider a traitorous act? Forming a competing guild is a major escalation of the "recording wars" - your indignation is surprising given the nature of the act. Want the questions to stop? Simple. Disband the PMG and refund the membership fees for all those musicians who got snookered into joining this non-organization. Its continued existence, along with the federal lawsuits, only serve as impediments for resolving the important issues we face today.
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Robert writes, "It’s worth noting that these charges date back to 2007. It doesn’t say anything good about the IEB that this matter wasn't resolved resolved many months ago. The old saying that “justice delayed is justice denied” comes to mind." Well, Robert you old RMA propagandist, we finally agree on something. The charges certainly should not have been allowed to linger for so long, but let's also not forget that according to well-informed people close to the IEB, there were delays caused by the unwillingness or inability of Sazer and/or Malloy to appear to answer the charges - their appearance was postponed many times. But the charges being dropped still don't begin to answer so many of the outstanding questions about the mission, goal, plans and tactics of the PMG, the anti-AFM competing guild that these two gentlemen are accused of being officers of. Reports indicate there was a membership drive some time back, with stories of arms being (gently) twisted at LA film scoring sessions to join the PMG. Well, what happened? Where did the money go? Was it given to the Fareplay attack fund? Is the PMG fully-funded and waiting for some event to jump up like some evil jack-in-the-box and claim jurisdiction of videogame scoring? What are the long-term goals of this organization, which by its existence and definition as posted on its website represents the most direct competitive threat to the AFM that exists today? And why do people like Marc Sazer, who reads this blog, choose to ignore all questions about the PMG? What's to hide? Why the secret agenda? All questions that every AFM member should be care about.
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