Artists Rights Watch – Weekly Update 09.21.15

Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful: Google Is Playing By the Rules They Make | Music Tech Policy

Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful | NY Times

Goodlatte & Conyers Announce Copyright Review Listening Tour | Judiciary.House.Gov

Weekly Copyright Issues Wrap Up – September 18, 2015 | Copyright Alliance

Anti-piracy battle unfolds in real time on Periscope, live-streaming apps | San Jose Mercury News

After years of delay, Mega founder Kim Dotcom faces extradition | CNBC

Lessig to NZ court: Dotcom charges would fail in the US | The Register UK


Why the ‘Dancing Baby’ copyright case is just hi-tech victim shaming | The Register UK

Ninth Circuit Gets Fair Use Wrong to the Detriment of Creators | CPIP.GMU.EDU

The DMCA, Fair Use and Dancing Babies | Plagiarism Today

Lenz Ruling Isn¹t Really About the Little Guy | The Illusion Of More


Why don¹t advertisers demand better from YouTube? | Vox Indie

Ad Block Apocalypse? Here’s How to Save the Web | Tom¹s Guide,news-21611.html
* Funny how things become a crisis when it’s YOUR JOB “PageFair’s report estimates that blocked ads will result in $21.8 billion of lost revenue this year alone”

Will Ad Blocking Be Google’s Kryptonite? | Seeking Alpha

Publishers panic as Apple cleans their mobile platform from banner ad addiction. |AdLand

The Pirate Bay Blacklisted By 600 Advertising Companies | Torrent Freak
* “Pirate sites will almost certainly be able to find advertisers willing to put hands in pockets but as times get tough, the quality of those ads is likely to deteriorate even further still. With that, user experience will also decline. Will pirates put up with the junk? Time will tell.²

ISPs don¹t have 1st Amendment right to edit Internet, FCC tells court | Ars Technica

Music copyright reform takes center stage in Nashville | The Tennesean

US Recording Academy launches major grassroots initiative | Music Week
* Fair Pay, Fair Play / Pre-72

For musicians it’s trickle down misery | AdLand

Digital song sales hit record low in the US | Music Week

Ellie Goulding: ŒOn My Mind¹ single withheld from YouTube and SoundCloud | Music Ally

YouTube Music Key starts charging subscriptionsŠ oh wait, no it doesn¹t  | Music Business Worldwide

Meet the new Grooveshark ­ aka ŒPopcorn Time for music¹ | Music Business Worldwide

95 Percent of Streaming Music Catalogs Are ‘Irrelevant’ to Consumers, Study | Digital Music News
* More music ³creation² does not equal more value for consumers.

Don’t Buy The Hype ‹ Airbnb And Uber Are Terrible For The Economy | Business Insider

Artists Rights Watch – A Collection Of Weekly Required Reading 09.08.15

Artists and Internet Stories from around the Web.

Why intellectual property rights matter | The Washington Times
* The Founders believed ownership of one’s labor is a natural right

What the Internet’s free culture has cost us in art | PBS Newshour

Film Producers Sue 16 Popcorn Time Users in Bid to Curb Piracy | PC Mag,2817,2490549,00.asp

The MovieTube Litigation Part I: Who Needs SOPA? | Law Theories

Hollywood, Silicon Valley Sharpen Their Swords in Piracy War | Variety

Amazon, Facebook and Google have the same secret  | Salon
* Our modern tech monopolies made billions and transformed the economy in different ways, but this was the base

With advertising on WDBJ-TV murder clips, YouTube sinks to new low | Vox Indie

Transparency for Thee But Not for Me: Google Tries to Censor India’s Link Rigging Investigation of Google | MTP

The Pirate Hunter | Williamette Week

The More Money Spotify Makes, The Less Artists Get Paid | Digital Music News

A Stream on Apple Music Pays Songwriters And Publishers 33% More Than A Stream On Spotify | Hypebot

Making Free Work (Hint Cannibalize Radio Not Sales) | Music Industry Blog

Imogen Heap: saviour of the music industry? | The Guardian

[RELATED] Understanding Music And Blockchain Without The Hype | Trichordist

WashingtonWatch: Pre-’72 Royalty Battle Adds Another New York Lawsuit | Grammy Pro

Radio Giants Facing Bicoastal Legal Demands to Stop Playing Pre-1972 Songs | Billboard

What EMI’s six-month sample amnesty means for the music industry | The Guardian

Rosanne Cash: ‘I’ve always been a union member’ | Local802afm

‘Halo,’ ‘Destiny’ composer Marty O’Donnell wins lawsuit against Bungie | Engadge

According To U.S. Big Data, We Won The Vietnam War | Forbes

Robert Reich: The sharing economy will be our undoing | Salon

The Hypocrisy of the Internet Journalist | Medium
View story at
* I’m selling you out as hard as I can, and I’m sorry.

NY Times Gets It Wrong on Musician Stats | Stats Chat

The NY Times get’s it wrong. Stats Chats takes on the numbers:

The larger category, “Musicians and Singers”, has been declining.  The smaller category, “Music Directors and Composers” was going up slowly, then had a dramatic three-year, straight-line increase, then decreased a bit.

Going  into the Technical Notes for the estimates (eg, 2009), we see

May 2009 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period

That means the three-year increase of 5000 jobs/year is probably a one-off increase of 15,000 jobs. Either the number of “Music Directors and Composers” more than doubled in 2009, or more likely there was a change in definitions or sampling approach.



Steven Johnson & A Thesis That Isn’t | The Illusion Of More

If we strip away some of the color and simply look at the assertions being made, then the basic structure of the article reveals an important fallacy. First Johnson states that most of the evidence of harm done to creators in the digital age is anecdotal, and this is partly true — although anecdotes from professionals should not be misconstrued as mere random complaining. So, to get beyond the anecdotal, Johnson then cites macroeconomic data, compiled by the Labor Department, most of which suggests a big-picture view that creative people in all media are doing better than they were a decade ago. But, having previously scorned the anecdotal negative, Johnson then cherrypicks bits and pieces of the anecdotal positive — some of which he misrepresents — in order to support his interpretation of the economic data he cites.


UK police are waging war on piracy sites’ funding — and it’s working | Business Insider

Ad Funded Piracy. Follow The Money. It’s not about sharing, it’s about profits.

Most big piracy sites don’t charge their users a fee, but are still able to profit off of copyright infringement. Why? Because the operators plaster their pages in advertising.

But British police now say they are making major headway in tackling this: On Wednesday, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) announced that Operation Creative, launched in 2013, has led to a 73% decline in advertising “from the UK’s top ad spending companies on copyright infringing websites.”


Music Artists Take On the Business, Calling for Change | New York Times

The New York Times quotes representatives of the artists rights movement including Blake Morgan of the #irespectmusic campaign, Melvin Gibbs of C3Action.Org (Content Creators Coalition), David Lowery of the Trichordist as well as musicians Zoe Keating, David Byrne and others.

“None of these companies that are supposedly in the music business are actually in the music business,” Mr. Gibbs said. “They are in the data-aggregation business. They’re in the ad-selling business. The value of music means nothing to them.”


5 Seriously Dumb Myths About Copyright the Media Should Stop Repeating | John Degen @ Medium

Please read John Degen’s 5 Seriously Dumb Myths About Copyright the Media Should Stop Repeating at the link below.

There you have it. I hope this quick list has helped my friends and colleagues in the media who may be hurrying to file a story on World Book and Copyright Day. Here’s a final, simple, rule of thumb for writing about copyright.

If you want to understand how a working artist feels about copyright, talk to an actual working artist.

The last time I checked, ivory-tower legal-theory departments and digital-utopian advocacy groups were not the best places to look for actual working artists.



Announcement From c3 (The Content Creators Coalition)

“Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future… if the creative community doesn’t intervene now, and by now, I mean, fucking now — we will be bound to a multigenerational clusterfuck that will take 40 to 50 years to unravel.” – Kurt Sutter Attacks Google: Stop Profiting from Piracy (Guest Column) | Variety

when:  THIS SUNDAY, Oct 19th, at 4:30-5:00pm
where: Google 8th ave btwn 15th and 16th sts in Manhattan)

MARCH WITH US at 4pm sharp from Le Poisson Rouge
(158 Bleecker St., btwn Sullivan and Thompson in Manhattan )
MEET US at Kelly Park at 4:15 pm
(W 16th St., btwn 8th and 9th avenue in Manhattan)

This action is sponsored by the c3, the Content Creators Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to the achievement of economic justice in the digital domain.

*  Google: Stop the Attack on Artists’ Rights.
*  Google/YouTube: Pay Creators For All Use Of Copyrighted Materials: When Profit Is Being Made, The Artist Must Be Paid:  Support An Artists Right To Choose: Take-Down-Means-Stay-Down!
*  Google: Stop brokering ads to corporate black market sites.

Please Forward

SUPPORT ARTISTS RIGHTS! #supportartistsrights
Join Us:


Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter Is A Rock Star for Creators Rights

We love Kurt Sutter’s unapologetic response to Google and Silicon Valley’s assault on creators. Below are links to Kurt’s two editorials that are essential reading for all creators to understand what the “internet economy” means for artists of all disciplines.

Kurt Sutter Attacks Google: Stop Profiting from Piracy (Guest Column) | Variety

Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future, and more importantly, the future of our children and grandchildren. They’re spending tens of millions of dollars each year on eroding creative copyright laws. I believe that if the creative community doesn’t intervene now, and by now, I mean, fucking now — we will be bound to a multigenerational clusterfuck that will take 40 to 50 years to unravel.

The last time this happened was in the 1950s, when the tobacco industry spent millions to hide the truth, and convince everyone that smoking cigarettes wasn’t really dangerous to your health.

Earlier this year, Kurt took to writing a response in Slate to an editorial by Google Lobbyist Marvin Ammori (which lead to a later editorial disclosure of Mr. Ammori’s relationships).

Not-So-Zen and the Art of Voluntary Agreements | Slate

Every writer, producer, actor, musician, director, tech wizard, and fine artist working today needs to be aware of what this all means for our future—we will lose the ability to protect and profit from our own work. Every kid out there who aspires to be an actor or musician or artist: This is your future that’s at stake. More importantly, everyone who enjoys quality entertainment: This impacts you most of all. Content excellence cannot sustain itself if it loses its capacity to reward the talent that creates it. Consider this clunky analogy: If your local car dealership started selling your favorite luxury car for $1,000, then $100, then started giving it away, what do you think would happen to the quality of that vehicle? Before long, the manufacturer would be forced to let go of the skilled laborer, the artisan, and the craftsman, and eventually cut back on everything in the production process. And before long, that fabulous, high-end car you so enjoyed will be a sheet of warped plywood on top of two rusty cans.

Yep, it’s cheap, and it’s shit.

Among the arguments that Kurt brings to light are the use of Merchants Of Doubt tactics by Silicon Valley interests, the mechanics employed by Google and YouTube detailed by The Digital Citizens Alliance and the ability for creatives of all disciplines to join Creative Future for a unified voice against these forces of exploitation.