We’re seeing more and more artists speaking up and speaking out against the unsustainable economics of the exploitation economy. We also hope more artists will also be speaking up about the Ad Funded Piracy that creates the downward pressure to justify these bad business models.
There used to be one band with the courage to do this sort of thing: Metallica. Now, there are dozens of high-profile artists, with outspoken critics like David Lowery and Thom Yorke leading a previously-unthinkable level of protest against streaming and content devaluation. Here are just a few of those voices that emerged in 2013.
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Posted in Ad Sponsored Piracy, Artists Rights Watch, Music Streaming, Musician's POV, Songwriter Rights
Tagged artists rights, Business Models, Music Streaming, musicians, Spotify, sustainability, Unsustainable
In July, Aimee Mann brought a noteworthy lawsuit over the possible existence of a massive amount of unlicensed music being streamed online.
In the cross-hairs of Mann’s multimillion-dollar legal claims was a company called MediaNet, originally backed by EMI, AOL, BMG and RealNetworks before being taken over by a private equity firm. MediaNet is essentially a white label that has served up more than 22 million songs to more than 40 music services, including Yahoo Music, Playlist.com, eBay and various online radio services.
Mann sued the company for allegedly infringing 120 of her songs, saying that a license agreement signed in 2003 expired three years later. There was also hint that she wasn’t alone. Her lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter at the time that the lawsuit served “as a call to other artists to follow the lead set by Radiohead and Pink Floyd to put an end to the unlicensed, uncompensated use of their music by online services.”
In reaction to the lawsuit, MediaNet maintained it had a valid license. On Friday, however, a California federal judge punched a big hole in this defense.
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Posted in Artists Rights Watch, Musician's POV, Royalty Rates, Songwriter Rights
Tagged aimee mann, artists rights, Digital Rights, lawsuit, Media, Media Net, MediaNet, Net
It’s not just mainstream artists like Tom Yorke and Beck who are speaking up about the challenges facing the new generation of musicians. We’re seeing more artists are speaking up as they face the financial reality that music piracy is having on their careers. We applaud Tashaki Miyaki for taking a public stand in an effort to educate and inform their fans about the challenges musicians are facing today.
the large number of people who are okay with uploading music which one does not own, is truly unfortunate. many musicians have multiple jobs in order to be able to tour and make recordings without becoming homeless. aside from it being copyright infringement, which is an illegal act, uploading tracks onto these torrent sites is robbing the artist of money which would otherwise allow him or her to continue to work. it doesn’t matter the level of the artist. more successful artists support more people, and often successful acts support their label, which then allows the label to take a chance on signing smaller, unknown artists.
please stop pirating music.
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There’s a lot to take away from the recent opinion piece in the New York Times from Alina Simone about the new (but not better) realities for musicians and creators. Here are two paragraphs that have resonated with us, asking the important questions about where we are, and where we are going.
Instead of helping these musicians, we tell them they just have to adapt to the new realities of the music economy. And short of embedding MP3s in toilet paper, they have. Bands have demonstrated remarkable creativity in trying to monetize whatever they can to make up for the inability to, er, monetize their music itself. They will come over and play Xbox 360 with you or personally record your outgoing voice mail message.
We’ve placed the entire onus of changing-with-the-times on musicians, but why can’t the educational, cultural and governmental institutions that support the arts adapt as well, extending the same opportunities to those whose music provides the soundtrack to our lives? If they don’t, Darwinism will probably ensure that only the musical entrepreneurs survive. I can’t say if the world of music will be better or worse off if that happens, but it will certainly be a lot louder.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
Good news: Pandora is scheduled to come to the stock market with a “secondary offering”, meaning the company is essentially having a second IPO. According to the Wall Street Journal:
The Internet radio company and its venture-capital backer Crosslink Capital Inc. are slated to offer 14 million shares late Thursday[, i.e., tomorrow], a stake that was worth $336 million when it was announced after Monday’s close.
So music is good business, right? It sure is–for everyone but the songwriters and artists.
In case any songwriter wondered, Pandora has more money than you and they intend to use it to screw you as hard as they possibly can to enrich themselves.
Today Pandora won a truly Pandora-style “victory” in the ASCAP rate court by getting a federal judge to rule that Pandora–a monopolist in webcasting–can use the out of date ASCAP consent decree to force songwriters to license to them.
And make no mistake–this is a very important case to Pandora because the one way that songwriters have of getting out of the trap inside Pandora’s house of cards is to say no and refuse to license to Pandora. And “no” is the one thing that Pandora can’t have you say because their only product is music. The government granted them an effective monopoly on webcasting and Pandora intends to keep it that way.
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