Help Project 72 Close the Pandora Loophole and #respectallmusic

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Pandora and Sirius have decided to stop paying performance royalties to artists, producers and background performers who recorded before 1972–in other words, the creators of the greatest music that influenced us all and their heirs.  Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, Buddy Holly, Jack Teagarden, and everyone in 20 Feet from Stardom. Just to name a few.

This is due to a gotcha in the US copyright law–the Pandora loophole–that supposedly does not extend the SoundExchange royalty to recordings made before 1972 because the U.S. did not adopt federal copyright protection for sound recordings until 1972.  The only problem with Pandora’s position is that there are lots of Members of Congress still in office who passed the 1995 and 1998 laws that created the SoundExchange royalty–and there is no Member of Congress who thought that they were creating a loophole so that Pandora…

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Garth Brooks Says I’ll Take The 80, They Can Have the 20

trichordist:

Go Garth! Why choice for artists remains important.

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

When Garth Brooks was at his peak the last time around, I remember a story about him that stuck.  Garth visited the sales teams at some of the biggest retailers along with his label sales executives to discuss the set up for one of his albums.  After they’d all visited for a bit, Garth asked the label execs to leave the room and he stayed with the retailer’s sales teams.  “Now tell me what you wouldn’t tell me if they were in the room,” he said (or so the story goes).

That, you see, is a business-savvy artist.  This isn’t for everyone, but if artists are interested in their business, this is exactly the kind of thing you should do.

So it’s not surprising that Garth Brooks has held his records back from digital distribution all this time.  Apple wanted to commoditize his albums by forcing him to sell on…

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The Declining Utility of the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees: Music Licensing Study

trichordist:

Required Reading from Music Tech Policy.

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

The U.S. Copyright Office is conducting a “Music Licensing Study” as part of the government’s overall review of the U.S. copyright law with an eye to potentially overhauling the entire copyright system.  (See “The Next Great Copyright Act” by Maria Pallante, the head of the U.S. Copyright Office and the nominal go-to person for the U.S. Congress on copyright issues.)  The Copyright Office has received written public comments on questions posed in its Notice of Inquiry and is also holding public Roundtables in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York  (in that order).

I filed comments with the Copyright Office and this post is the last of a three part post focusing on each of the three points I made in my comments (see Songwriter Liberty and Audit Rights Under Section 115 and “Successful” Licensing Models and the Opt Out.)  This post discusses the out…

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Worth Repeating : Copylike.Org Artists Rights Postcards

Weatherley: ‘Cutting off ad revenue to illegal sites is key to piracy battle’ | Music Week

“Following the money is the key to shutting down the vast majority of websites that host illegal material,” said Weatherley. “This report explores a number of issues surrounding the piracy debate and I hope that it will spur further discussion both in the UK and, given the international nature of this problem, in other countries across the world.

“As the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, I feel that it is my role to highlight just how damaging piracy is to the UK economy. It is paramount that we curb advertising revenue that is going to pirates who are, in turn, seriously damaging our creative industries.”

Commander Steve Head, head of economic crime at City of London Police, said: “Disrupting revenue to pirate websites is vital to combating online intellectual property piracy and I therefore welcome the recommendations in Mike Weatherley’s report. We must take the profit out of this type of criminality and where legitimate companies, such as payment providers, are facilitating that profit they must be held to account if they fail to act.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC WEEK:
http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/weatherley-cutting-off-ad-revenue-to-illegal-sites-is-key-to-piracy-battle/058830

The Pirate Bay must be fought for the sake of exploited musicians | The Sydney Morning Herald

In Australia, there is very little that a musician can do to stop illegal streaming and downloading sites from using their work. These illegal sites make massive amounts of money from ads and nothing goes back to the artists who provide the content. Not one cent.

Sites such as the Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents exploit artists in the worst sense of the word. These illegal sites do not support musicians’ careers. They deprive musicians of the right to have their work valued in a free and open market.

The success of these sites is predicated on taking without paying on a massive scale. In fact, that is their business model. They don’t create anything. I feel infuriated when I see my work and my friends’ work being used in this way by people who don’t give a damn.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD:
http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-pirate-bay-must-be-fought-for-the-sake-of-exploited-musicians-20140623-zsiqo.html

Google ordered by BC court to block websites selling pirated goods: Equustek Solutions Inc. v. Jack | Barry Sookman

The decision made several important findings related to enforcing rights online including that:
 
* the court had territorial jurisdiction over Google
 
* the court had the jurisdictional competence to make a blocking order under its broad equitable jurisdiction even if it would have extra-territorial effects
 
* URL blocking was not as effective as website blocking
 
* the balance of convenience favored granting a blocking order to assist the plaintiffs in enforcing their judgment against defendants who continued to violate their intellectual property rights
 

 
READ THE FULL POST AT BARRY SOOKMAN:
http://www.barrysookman.com/2014/06/18/google-ordered-by-bc-court-to-block-websites-selling-pirated-goods-equustek-solutions-inc-v-jack/

YouTube Squeeze on Indies Instructive | Illusion Of More

Very insightful and accurate analysis of our digital life and the online ecosystem which devalues the rights of the individual in favor of unprecedented corporate power against citizens.

Tube, yes. You, not so much.

If there has been one consistent theme in everything I’ve written since diving into the morass we call the digital age, it’s that the Internet is not ours despite all appearances to the contrary. Like it or not, all the populist, free-speech rhetoric that’s been spoon-fed to the public by the chief propellorheads of the land is just a gateway drug meant to dull our senses so we don’t notice the monopolistic power grab that’s been taking place. No, the Internet is not ours so much as it belongs to a very small consortium players, most especially Google, which controls nearly all search and nearly all advertising worldwide.

As I argued during the heated squabble over SOPA, these companies don’t really give a damn about free speech or about liberating creators and consumers of content from the media elite gatekeepers; they simply want to be the new media elite, and have the potential to be far more ruthless gatekeepers. Instead of an oligopoly of studios, labels, and publishers we’re gleefully handing over absolute power to a couple of companies, not only calling it progress but even more shockingly calling it democratic.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/youtube-indies/

YouTube’s Ultimatum and The Economic Survival Of Musicians | Hypebot

By copyright and intellectual property attorney Wallace E. J. Collins III, Esq..

The most serious problem facing the artist community is that, at some point, it becomes economically unfeasible to pursue a career as an artist, songwriter or musician. Of course, as has been the case for many decades, most musicians barely survived without the dreaded day job. However, this extreme downward pressure on the creators of original audio and audio/visual content may force matters to a breaking point the likes of which the creative community has never seen.

No kidding.

READ THE FULL STORY AT HYPEBOT:
http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2014/06/youtubes-ultimatum-and-the-economic-survival-of-musicians.html

Will YouTube really block indie labels if they snub its new music service? | The Guardian UK

Ugly dispute with indie labels is provoking anger online, so what are the facts – and rumours – about YouTube’s streaming plans?

The accusation from WIN, representing its independent label members, is clear: if labels don’t sign up for YouTube’s new paid music service at the (non-negotiable) terms, their entire catalogues will be blocked on YouTube – all of YouTube, not just the new premium bit.

Note too the “significantly inferior” terms reference in Wenham’s letter. At WIN’s press conference, songwriter (and Guardian journalist) Helienne Lindvall said that “We’re hearing that a billion dollars has been paid by YouTube to the major labels” in advances for its new service.

Some of the anger in this dispute is the perception by indie labels that their major rivals have inked lucrative deals with YouTube while leaving them with the crumbs.

That billion-dollar figure is hearsay, of course. But note that YouTube said in February that it had paid $1bn out to music rightsholders in royalties so far, and then consider Kyncl’s quote in the FT interview: “That number is going to double soon.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/18/youtube-indie-labels-music-service