New California Bill for Uber & Lyft Drivers Can Affect Music Artist

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

The state of California is passing a bill that could “crush” Independent music artists, unintentionally. The bill was designed to help Lyft and Uber drivers get benefits from the company as an employer. However the language for Bill AB5 is too broad and drags the independent music community into a dilemma with no options.


Say what now?

The “unintended consequences for musicians who hire, say, engineers, producers, publicists, managers, and backup dancers. Under AB5, any musician hiring temporary outside help would be classified as an employer themself, and thus be subject to strict employment laws.”


Why should you care?

"The proposed bill states that any person who provides services that relate to the usual course of the 'hiring entity’s' business is an employee of that entity. This makes sense for large corporations; it does not make sense for the independent artist who is trying to make music."


This bill is now awaiting California Governor Gavin Newsom’s approval. (Read full article)


Shaheim's Opinion:


Though lawmakers have engaged Billboard, RIAA, A2IM, the Azoff Company and many others they have to get the language right so independent music artists do not get sucked into a cacophony of obligated costs/expenses in order to make music as freely as they do now.


These restrictions to assist the benefits of ride-share operators should be distinctive so it can truly help those that need it and not damage without stifling the profession of music creativity at the DIY level.


It’s hard enough to get independent music artists to ask for help or for engineers and producers to start out as freelancers, don’t make it impossible for any of them to ever get started.

Shaheim Kellum

(pronounced Shah-heem Kel-lumm) is the author of "No Record Label Needed"

(Amazon - Fall 2019).


A New York based, 14 year former independent music executive and the founder of the music biz advice blog

Music Coach Tips.


Anything Shaheim has an opinion about that he feels can help or affect independent music artists, he'll write about it on his blog, for other blogs and on his Twitter.


Follow him on Twitter: @TheMACoach and Instagram: @ShaheimBK


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