With the state of music in 2016 continuously straying away from traditional methods of distribution, the current Grammy rules may have no choice but to be revisited to account for music released for free.
Or at least, that’s what thousands of music fans are hoping will happen.
As it currently stands, the rules say that mixtapes and music released for free are not eligible to win any awards.
A new petition has been set up on Change.org in hopes of changing this seemingly outdated rule, especially considering that it is 2016 and the landscape of music has drastically changed over the years.
The rule often directly affects hip hop music, where a large portion of artists release music both as mixtapes and, even more often, for free.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences states that a piece of music can only qualify for a Grammy Award if it is “commercially released in general distribution in the United States, i.e. sales by label to a branch or recognized independent distributor, via the Internet, or mail order/retail sales for a nationally marketed product. Recordings must be available for sale from any date within the eligibility period through at least the date of the current year’s voting deadline (final ballot)."
The author of the petition, Max Krasowitz, currently has almost 20,000 supporters backing his cause thus far.
“Not all artists should be forced to release their music for free, but the ones who do should not be punished for doing so,” Krasowitz wrote.
He cited Chance the Rapper’s mainstream success as an example of one artist in particular who is affected by the Academy’s current bylaws, saying he doesn't deserve to be omitted from the Grammys because of his decision to distribute his music for free. Krasowitz definitely raises a good point.
View his petition in full here.
(Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)