“PersonA”, the new album by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes has become the world’s first release to carry the “Fair Trade Music” certification. The band’s label Community Music, chose to split the profits from all album sales equally between itself and the artist; a decision which has entitled the release to carry the Fair Trade Music seal.
“The Fair Trade sticker means that a fair trade, 50/50 split between artist and label will be followed, and will be backed up by a yearly audit,” said singer, Alex Ebert in an interview with Bandcamp Daily. “We’re at a stage where we really need a major re-acculturation, and to re-appropriate our right to earn a living through our occupation. People who already pay for music, or who are inclined to want to support artists but don’t have a clear indicator as to which method will see their funds through to the artist, are going to find this helpful.”
This release marks an important milestone in the Fair Trade Music campaign by demonstrating that its principals of equity and transparency are workable in real world situations. It allows songwriters and composers to earn a fair livelihood thereby encouraging new work and benefiting all members of the music value chain from the artist, to the labels, to the music lovers who buy the end product.