No Music For ICE! Musicians: Pull your Music From Amazon This Holiday Season

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Above Photo: From Medium.com

We, the artists behind No Music For Ice, are calling for our fellow musicians to cut ties with Amazon, until they end their contracts with ICE.

In an escalation of our NoMusicForICE campaign, we just issued takedown notices to pull our music from Amazon’s digital platform, and you can too. We’re calling on musicians & labels who oppose ICE’s human rights abuses to join us during the holiday season. Read on for why, and how, you can join us in a collective digital takedown, in solidarity with groups fighting Amazon’s support of ICE nationwide. Mass takedowns will begin on Black Friday and continue throughout Amazon’s all-important holiday shopping season.

Connect with us at NoMusicForICE.com

Back in October, Amazon announced that it would be hosting Intersect festival, an Amazon Web Services-sponsored experience described on the official website as a “place where music, technology, and art converge.” News of the festival sparked public criticism, with musicians and journalists disavowing Amazon for providing digital infrastructure that powers Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Many musicians who joined the conversation agreed: it is time to say NO to ICE and the tech companies that power it, like Amazon.

A group of artists and volunteers created No Music For ICE to harness our collective power and organize against Amazon. Inspired by the No Tech For ICE campaign led by groups like Mijente, as well as petitions and letters created by tech workers at Amazon and Google, we wrote an open letter to Amazon pledging to reject events or partnerships sponsored by Amazon.

The letter included a series of demands for Amazon:

  • Terminate existing contracts with government agencies that commit human rights abuses.
  • Stop providing cloud services to organizations (such as Palantir) that power deportations.
  • End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination like Amazon Ring’s surveillance partnerships with police.
  • Reject any future engagements with such bad actors.

This letter gained coverage on almost every major news outlet in the United States, and was co-signed by over 1000 musicians — including Atmosphere, Jay Som, Deerhoof, Alejandro Escovedo, CAKE, Ted Leo, members of Fugazi, Damon and Naomi, The Blow, Mirah, Priests, Thursday, Car Seat Headrest, Taina Asili, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Immortal Technique.

Today, we are calling on musicians to take the next step: do what we did and remove your music from Amazon. A mass, collective takedown is an escalation, another step in musicians acting in solidarity with the numerous groups across the country protesting to shut down ICE and end family separations, deportations, and other horrors.

Amazon is aggressively trying to compete in the music sales and streaming markets, with mixed results. Based on a few numbers for major “rock” acts an industry insider shared with us recently, Amazon Streaming accounted for only around 4% of first week streams. Amazon MP3 digital sales equated to 3% total of album sales, excluding ticket/album bundle sales. Pulling down your music kicks Amazon where it already hurts, and it’s easy to do.

If you are on a label or otherwise have a distribution deal, write to your label or distributor directly. Ask if they can help you issue a takedown request to Amazon for digital sales and streaming. It’s easy to opt out, and it should only take a few days for your music to be removed from their platform. Our organizers with distribution from ADA and Redeye, like Get Better Records,Speedy Ortiz, Downtown Boys, and Evan Greer were able to do so quickly and painlessly. Check out our “How to” guide below to learn more about how to issue Amazon takedowns.

During the holiday shopping & travel season, when music sales are often at their peak, wouldn’t it be great if your art didn’t feed the infrastructure that allows government agencies to abuse human rights on a mass scale? Join us! Learn more & tell us you’re pulling your music at http://nomusicforice.com/

And now — a message to Amazon. You can’t use our music to hurt the most vulnerable among us. You are complicit in some of the greatest human rights violations of our time, and history will place you among the villains. We aren’t going to join you on that list.

We know that music can change things, and we will use music to end Amazon’s contract with ICE.

How to Remove Your Music From Amazon

If you have a label and/or a distribution deal.

  1. Write to your label or distributor directly.
  2. Ask if they can help you issue a takedown request to Amazon for digital sales and streaming.
  3. It’s easy to opt out, and it should only take a few days for your music to be removed from their platform. Our organizers with distribution from ADA and Red Eye, like Get Better Records and Speedy Ortiz, were able to do so quickly and painlessly. Artists on Don Giovanni Records had the same experience.
  4. Change your avatar for this holiday season to signify that you said NO to Amazon + ICE.
  5. Take the pledge & and tell us why you removed your music from Amazon at NoMusicForIce.com

If you are independent and/or do not have a distribution deal.

Note: removing your music from Amazon may be permanent, and could apply to streaming services Amazon owns in the future. We’ll add more info, ask your distributor for clarification if you have questions.

  1. Log in to your account of the service (for ex: Distrokid) that helped you upload digital music to Amazon
  2. In the distribution settings on your service, you can select stores you would like to deliver to, and do not want to deliver to. If the service you used does not have this option, email customer support.
  3. Remove Amazon from the list of stores where you want your music delivered.
  4. If this doesn’t work, email customer support and say:
    “I would like to take down my music from Amazon. Please remove my music from Amazon digital sales & streaming, effective immediately.”
  5. Change your avatar for this holiday season to signify that you said NO to Amazon + ICE.
  6. Take the pledge & tell us why you removed your music from Amazon at NoMusicForIce.com
  • Pat moore

    I am not a musician, but choose not to purchase from Amazon