David Lowery: Here’s how Pandora is destroying musicians | Salon

David Lowery has become both beloved and notorious over the last year as one of the musicians most critical of the ways musicians are paid in the digital era. The Camper van Beethoven and Cracker singer brings an artist’s rage and a quant’s detached rigor to his analysis of the music business.

He’s currently fired up about a federal lawsuit filed in New York in which several record labels have sued Pandora (and before that, Sirius FM) for neglecting to pay royalties for songs recorded before Feb. 15, 1972. Here’s how Billboard summarizes the suit: “The labels say both digital music services take advantage of a copyright loophole, since the master recording for copyright wasn’t created federally until 1972. … But the labels claim that their master recordings are protected by individual state copyright laws and therefore deserve royalty payments.”

Lowery thinks the loophole provides a way for Pandora to simply not pay older musicians for their work — while profiting from it themselves. The case could get bigger and change in strange ways, with broad implications.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SALON:
http://www.salon.com/2014/08/31/david_lowery_heres_how_pandora_is_destroying_musicians/

New Adventures in Copyright Enforcement @SXSW #SXSW

Friday, March 14 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM
New Adventures in Copyright Enforcement
Austin Convention Center | Room 17B | 500 E Cesar Chavez St

lthough debates about how to protect copyright online might seem so 2010, they certainly haven’t abated. The current conversations aren’t as contentious as the SOPA skirmishes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean consensus. Current attempts to address piracy are taking place outside of Congress, and include efforts to establish “best practices” between stakeholders. From the recently-minted Copyright Alert System to voluntary agreements meant to curb unauthorized activity within ad networks and payment processors, new experiments in rights protection abound. What’s the thinking behind the various approaches? What does a “win” look like, and what are the parameters for oversight? How can artists get involved?

MMODERATOR
Casey Rae
Interim Exec Dir – Future of Music Coalition

Sherwin Siy
VP, Legal Affairs- Public Knowledge

Jill Lesser
Exec Dir- Center For Copyright Information

David Lowery
Musician/Internet Content Provider – Cracker

TODAY AT #SXSW : Love the Art, Fcuk the Artist: The Re-emerging Artist Rights Movement! #SXSW

Thursday, March 13 | 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Austin Convention Center | Room 12AB | 500 E Cesar Chavez St

http://schedule.sxsw.com/2014/events/event_MP990775

Business gets harder and harder for recording artists and songwriters. Problems have developed with labels, publishers, fans, online distribution services like Spotify, major ISPs like Google, and Internet radio networks like Pandora. They also endure antagonistic courts, ineffective laws, and government indifference. As a result, their property interest has been significantly devalued and their rights abridged. Recently some recording artists and songwriters have started to criticize and push back against this new status quo.

MODERATOR
Jay Rosenthal
SVP & General Counsel – National Music Publishers’ Association

Eric Hilton
Thievery Corporation

David Zierler
Pres – INgrooves

Lee Miller
Pres – Nashville Songwriters Association International

David Lowery
Musician/Internet Content Provider – Cracker

Camper Van Beethoven’s 2013 Net Profit Was $645 Million Dollars Higher Than Twitter.

Technologists in Silicon Valley love to tell artists we need to update our business model.

This is hilarious since each of my businesses have been profitable for decades. Stunning when you look at just how unprofitable these Silicon Valley Companies actually are.  Twitter for instance lost $645 million dollars last year.   Jaw dropping when you consider that their total revenues were $646 million dollars.   They spent 2 dollars for every 1 dollar of revenue.  And if you look at their losses they are accelerating.

Screen shot 2014-02-19 at 10.59.36 AM

Source: https://investor.twitterinc.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=823321

Now consider the fact that the City of San Francisco also gave them approximately $56 million in tax beaks.  This is while the city has been pushing to slash benefits to city workers. 

Yes maybe Camper Van Beethoven needs to update our business model to include tax breaks and political cronyism.

RELATED:

http://irespectmusic.org

Internet Consultants Are Wrong : Confused About Musicians, The Internet and Piracy

My Song Got Played On Pandora 1 Million Times and All I Got Was $16.89

David Lowery Talks Artists Rights | The BBC [video]

When he’s not on the road touring, Lowery is teaching students at the University of Georgia about the business of the music industry.

He is a vocal critic of that industry, and particularly how technology – from illegal downloading to new streaming services – has made it harder for artists to keep control of their work and to earn a living from it.

WATCH THE FULL STORY ON BBC VIDEO:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25771368

Early Results and Evolution of the UGA Undesirable Lyric Website Study to Include Advertisers. | UGA

As a result of the publication of the UGA Undesirable Lyric Website List and action taken by the National Music Publishers Association there have been a number of noteworthy updates. Many sites have come forward wishing to obtain licenses and others updated their licensing compliance. We updated our database accordingly. We also learned of at least one website that now has an expired licenses.

In addition we are now ready to expand the study to examine which brands are advertising on these unlicensed sites.

Finally the next iteration of the list will be followed by a list of brands which appear on the top 10 Undesirable Lyric websites.

READ THE FULL REPORT AT UGA LYRICS:
http://ugalyricwebsitelist.org/2014/01/01/early-results-and-evolution-of-the-uga-undesirable-lyric-website-study-to-include-advertisers/

The 10 Most Important News Stories of 2013 |CoS

#8 Musicians Declare War on Spotify

Why it matters: Musicians like David Lowery and Damon Krukowski have been questioning the royalty practices of streaming services and online radio for years. When it’s the frontman of the biggest band in the world calling bullshit, though, people start listening. Streaming was supposed to be the next evolution of music consumption, but if the royalty models are really as bad as they’ve been made out to be (and by all accounts, they are), that particular evolutionary branch may be stunted. In the end, that might be for the best: a financial model that doesn’t support new artists will, inevitably, cripple the music industry.

Yorke called companies like Spotify “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse” and said, “What happens next is the important part.” This is where Neil Young and his long in-development PONO music service might have to step in. Set to launch next year, PONO reportedly solves the audio loss issues Beck pointed out, though there hasn’t been much word on pricing models. Still, Yorke remarked that musicians “can build the shit” themselves, and Young’s company may be the first step in a new direction. Either way, the medium listeners absorb music is going to keep changing for everyone involved. –Ben Kaye

READ THE FULL STORY AT CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND:
http://consequenceofsound.net/2013/12/year-in-news-2013/

Bills to Eliminate Pirate Sites like The Pirate Bay get Unanimous Approval | IBT

AGCOM, an independent Electronic Communications Authority of Italy, devised various measures to bring down the pirate websites and their owners. The measures put forward have been unanimously approved. The new system that ensures the fast removal of copyrighted content by hosts and blocking of various file-sharing websites will be implemented on March 31, 2014.

In the past, Italy has emerged as a nation that is taking proactive actions to tackle pirate sites and other online piracy issues. Numerous leading torrent websites like Kicka** Torrents and The Pirate Bay are blocked at the Internet Service Provider (ISP) level after orders from different courts.

READ THE FULL STORY AT IBT:
http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/530351/20131216/bills-take-out-sites-pirate-bay.htm#.UrISnY3Kf_A

RELATED:

If the Internet Breaks and No One Notices, Did it Really Happen?

Google Slammed by Mississippi Attorney General for “Inaction” on Piracy

David Lowery: Silicon Valley must be stopped, or creativity will be destroyed | SALON

Below is just one excerpt from the interview with the always insightful David Lowery in Salon.

Silicon Valley’s making money off the work of others. David Lowery is on a crusade for copyright, fairness and art

SALON : People sometimes use the Industrial Revolution metaphor. They talk about how factories replaced the artisan and the farmer, and it took decades for things like child labor, dangerous working conditions, and pollution and all the stuff that industry brought to Britain and the U.S. to be eradicated, or made humane and sustainable.

LOWERY: But whenever anybody — I mean, you’ve just brought up David Allen, and we’ve just posted this idea on my Trichordist blog that we should have an ethical, fair-trade Internet, but you’ve got people like David Allen saying you can’t have that. That would be like in the Industrial Revolution saying, “You can’t have a non-polluting factory; you can’t have a factory that doesn’t have child labor; you can’t have a factory that’s safe to work in.” Of course you can!

We’re the ****ing masters of our own destiny, we pass the laws for this country, we create this country, we decide what kind of a society we’re going to have — not the Internet. And, besides, the Internet is coded by humans. We can make the Internet do what it needs to do. I’m a technologist. I program computers. This is what I did before I played in bands.

There is nothing deterministic about the Internet. Basically, what these people are saying is that this is the first technology whereby we must change our principles to match the technology — that’s what these people are saying. Do you want to live in a world like that, with these people running it?

READ THE FULL STORY HERE AT SALON:
http://www.salon.com/2013/12/04/david_lowery_silicon_valley_must_be_stopped_or_creativity_will_be_destroyed/

Rap Genius Says It Will Seek Licenses for Lyrics | NYT

It’s been an interesting week in the battle over unlicensed lyric websites. These lyric sites, likes music piracy sites earn revenue from advertising but don’t “share” any of that revenue with artists and songwriters. The New York Times reports.

Rap Genius, a website that was accused by music publishers on Monday of reprinting thousands of song lyrics without permission, revealed that it had a major licensing deal all along — and also indicated that the site was likely to pursue more such deals in the future rather than fight with publishers over copyright.

“We want to spend our time building an interesting product and community instead of building a legal case, even though we’re sure it would be interesting,” he said. “We chose to partner up with the music publishers and license the lyrics so we could get on with our work and establish closer ties to songwriters and artists.”

David Israelite, the president of the publishers’ trade association, said of Rap Genius’s deal with Sony/ATV, “I think it proves that what Rap Genius is doing is not fair use, and I am hopeful it is a first step toward becoming a fully licensed site.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE NEW YORK TIMES:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/business/media/rap-genius-says-it-will-seek-licenses-for-lyrics.html