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Anita Baker

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Comedian Dave Chappelle may have started something in terms of artists taking back the power with their creative work. In a brief video, Chappelle urged fans not to stream “The Chappelle Show” in an 18-minute video he titled Unforgiven.

In it, Chappelle explained that while his ground-breaking show was being streamed on Comedy Central and HBO, he was not receiving any money from it. Though he created it, he didn’t own the rights to it. As a result, he asked fans to do something I’d never heard an artist before. He told them to boycott his show on those networks.

And wonder of wonders, the plea worked. So much so that weeks later, Comedy Central agreed to give him the license for his show back and paid him millions of dollars in the process.

It seems that Chappelle has launched a bit of a movement. Legendary singer Anita Baker is following in his footsteps asking fans not to stream or buy any of her music

Baker made the request via Twitter saying that while she had outlived all of her contracts and they no longer own her name and likeness, the record companies are putting up a fight when it comes to her Masters being returned to her. Until that happens she’d like for her fans not to advertise, buy or stream her music.

Baker is referring to a measure called copyright reversion which returns copyrights to artists after 35 years. But, according to Yahoo News, the measure is not automatic. Artists still have to participate in certain steps to retrieve their rights.

Throughout her career, she’s released seven studio albums and one live compilation and is listed as the cowriter for many of her most popular songs including, “Sweet Love,” “Caught Up in The Rapture,” and “Giving You The Best That I Got.”

Later, she broke down exactly how little money artists actually receive from traditional streaming platforms.

Thankfully, fans seem to be in support of the measure.

We appreciate and support Baker standing up for herself. Hopefully, she’ll be able to receive what’s rightfully hers very soon.

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