Why Can’t Songwriters Audit? A Brief Guide to Statutory Audits Under the U.S. Copyright Act

Trichordist Editor:

Essential reading for all songwriters and musicians.

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

BLANCHE

Whoever you are…I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

From A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams

Songwriters earn a sizable percentage of their ever decreasing income from mechanical royalties.  Until the last few years, mechanical royalties were almost always licensed under direct licenses to record companies that incorporated by reference the statutory license provisions of Section 115 of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act and the corresponding regulations.  Section 115 is a direct–and almost word for word–descendant of Section 1(e) of the 1909 U.S. Copyright Act.

Why so little change in nearly 70 years?  Until 2000 or so, nobody used statutory licenses except in the rarest of circumstances.  Instead, the statutory license became something like the Uniform Partnership Act or the Uniform Commercial Code.  It could be used for reference but was often–almost always–modified in a direct license.

The main point that was added in these…

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@bettemidler : @Spotify and @Pandora have made it impossible for songwriters to earn a living: three months streaming on Pandora, 4,175,149 plays=$114.11.

The truth is self evident.

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https://twitter.com/BetteMidler/status/452200886970769408

One Band Have Worked Out a Way to Cheat Spotify out of Money| Noisey.Vice

We just can’t get enough of this story. There’s a great interview with the band at the link below.

Spotify is a great way for most musicians to make money. By most musicians, I mean a superstar economy of 1% who account for 77% of all artist revenue from streaming. And by “money” I mean the $0.007 per stream that most artists receive.

READ THE FULL STORY AT VICE:
http://noisey.vice.com/blog/one-band-have-worked-out-a-way-to-cheat-spotify-out-of-money

London Police Attempt to cut off illegal websites’ advertising revenue | BBC

What we find so interesting about this is that the digital music services that report to be friends of musicians are not taking a strong public position against Ad funded Piracy and supporting these measures.

Spotify, Pandora and the like are affected by the downward economic pressure created by Ad Funded Piracy that diminishes both the amount consumers are willing to spend on subscription fees and the amount that can be charged for legitimate advertising on legitimate services.

Why aren’t Spotify and Pandora more publicly engaged in the fight against Ad Funded Piracy as it certainly is a large contributing factor as to why these businesses remain unprofitable.

Websites offering illegal copyrighted material could see their advertising revenue cut under a new initiative.

Police have created an online database of websites “verified” as being illegal.

It is hoped that firms that handle advertising will use the resource to make sure they do not serve advertising on those sites, cutting off revenue.

Top piracy sites generate millions of pounds thanks to advertising.

One estimate, from the Digital Citizens Alliance – a group backed by rights holders – suggested that piracy websites worldwide generated $227m (£137m) from advertising revenue each year.

Even smaller sites commanded revenues into the hundreds of thousands, the group said.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE BBC:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26788800

Nobody should be surprised that Spotify is already planning its IPO| Musically

Watch stories about Spotify planning a stock market flotation this Autumn spread across the web in the coming hours, triggered by a report on tech/business site Quartz.

“The popular music-streaming company has participated in informal chats with some of the investment banks likely to fight for a role in a potential IPO, sources familiar with the process said,” claims the article.

“The six-year-old service may start holding formal meetings as early as next month in anticipation of an offering in autumn. (Though the timeline for a possible IPO could change for a number of reasons, including unfavorable market conditions.)”

READ THE FULL POST AT MUSICALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/03/27/spotify-ipo-planning/

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Music Streaming Math, Can It All Add Up?

#SXSW REWIND : Venture Capitalist Admits Artists Can Not Make A Living On Streaming Royalties

Why Spotify is NOT the Enemy of Artists, and Who Is…

The MTP Interview: Blake Morgan of ECR Music Group on the #irespectmusic campaign

Originally posted on MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY:

Chris Castle interviews Blake Morgan, head of ECR Music Group and the force behind the #irespectmusic campaign on Pandora, IRFA and the campaign for artist pay for radio play.

Theme music by Guy Forsyth.

You can also subscribe to the Music Tech Policy podcast on iTunes.

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ISPs Can Be Forced To Block Piracy Sites, EU Court Rules | Forbes

In an endorsement of the UK’s anti-piracy policy, the European Court of Justice has ruled that EU states do have the right to order ISPs to block copyright-infringing websites.

The decision, which confirms an opinion late last year, follows a dispute between two movie companies – Germany’s Constantin Film Verleih and Austria’s Wega-Filmproduktionsgesellschaft – and internet provider UPC Telekabel Wien.

READ THE FULL POST AT FORBES:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2014/03/27/isps-can-be-forced-to-block-piracy-sites-eu-court-rules/

Wu-Tang Clan to release one copy of new album, sell it for millions | EW

The shape of things to come? This is one solution… Absolutely genius.

As the product’s official website indicates, the legendary rap team’s stealthy new record is called The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. There’ll only be one copy of the album… like, ever. It’ll be grandly “presented in a hand carved nickel-silver box designed by the British Moroccan artist Yahya,” and yes, it looks as fancy as it sounds. Before that one copy is sold, though, civilians can listen to the album when it embarks on an ambitious tour of museums, galleries, festivals, and other such happenings around the world. Then after that, the item will go up for sale, with an expected price range somewhere in the multi-millions.

READ THE FULL STORY AT ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:
http://music-mix.ew.com/2014/03/27/wu-tang-clan-shaolin-single-album/

Jury: MP3tunes founder must pay $41 million for copyright violations| Ars Technica

Michael Robertson, an entrepreneur who has been waging legal feuds against the music industry for more than a decade now, has been ordered to pay $41 million to a record label that sued him.

The record label EMI sued MP3tunes back in 2007, and the case finally went to a jury last week in New York federal court. The jury found MP3tunes, and Robertson personally, liable for copyright violations.

A separate damages trial ended yesterday, with the jury issuing a verdict of around $41 million. That’s an estimate, because the decision was a “complex, lengthy” verdict that will take the lawyers until next week to calculate precisely, according to a Reuters report on the outcome of the trial.

READ THE FULL STORY AT ARS TECHNICA:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/03/jury-mp3tunes-founder-must-pay-41-million-for-copyright-violations/