Guest Post: What Would @TaylorSwift13 and Eddie @cue Do? One solution to the frozen mechanical problem

By Chris Castle [this post first appeared on the MusicTechSolutions blog]

Who can forget how Taylor Swift stood up for songwriters, producers and artists against Apple’s bizarre decision to impose a royalty-free three month trial period on the launch of Apple Music. (Of course, songwriters, producers and artists weren’t the only ones involved, but that’s a story for another day.)

What is equally memorable is how fast Apple changed course and all the goodwill that came to Apple as a result. Faster than you can say “Arsenal”, Eddie Cue announced that Apple would scale it back. Lemonade out of lemons. Of course, the issue should have been obvious, but sometimes smart people miss the point like everyone does sometimes. (Rolling Stone has a good short post on the backstory.)

The point of the story is that when you make a mistake, it’s better to fix it quickly than let it fester. So it is with the “frozen mechanical” problem that has become all the rage in recent days. The good news is the problem can be solved with the payment of money. It won’t be easy, but as a great man once said, this is the business we’ve chosen.

The Copyright Royalty Board decides on the statutory rate that’s paid under compulsory content licenses in the United States. For mechanical royalties, the CRB makes that decision every five years which means that if there isn’t a CRB hearing going on at any given moment, wait a little while and there will be one. (Needless to say, the volume of CRB hearings varies directly with full employment for lawyers and lobbyists in Washington, DC.) The “frozen mechanical” issue dates back to 2006 (or 2009 depending on how you count it) when the CRB allowed the end of rising mechanical royalty rates on physical and permanent downloads (and a couple others). However, the sour memories of frozen mechanicals date to 1909–also a story for another day.

Instead, the CRB has allowed a private agreement among the biggest players to become the law. This has happened at least one other time and it appears that it is about to happen again according to public documents filed with the CRB on March 2, 2021 (read it here). Contrast that private agreement to the bitter struggle against the streaming services over streaming mechanicals that is still in the appeal process. Different people paying, same songwriters getting paid.

If you haven’t heard about the tentative settlement by private agreement at the CRB, it admittedly was not well socialized.

The inescapable problem is that any fixed or “frozen” rate determined at one point in time but paid over relatively long periods of time is at the mercy of inflation in the economy that may rise in that intervening time period. The Congress and the industry recognized this harsh truth in the 1976 revision to the Copyright Act and eventually indexed mechanical rates, meaning that they floated upward with the Consumer Price Index. (CPI has its own problems, but it’s a bogey that lots of people use so it’s easier than reinventing the wheel with a bespoke factor.)

Given what has been happening in the economy, it was inevitable that inflation was about to come back strong in the U.S. and global economy. Sure enough, the Department of Labor announced yesterday:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.2 percent before seasonal adjustment. This is the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending September 2008.

Yes, the CPI ignored the Fed and increased like the pesky little devil it is. There’s no reason to think that this is going to stop any time soon. (If you were born after 1960 or so, you may not remember that inflation and stagflation resulted in the prime interest rate peaking at 21.5% in December of 1980. That drove mortgage rates to 13.41% in 1981 (often plus points). And then there were the credit cards. That’s where inflation can lead. Personally, my money is on stagflation in the form of high inflation and high unemployment due to what Secretary Yellen called the scarring effects of the pandemic which the music business is experiencing in spades.)

April 2021 DOL Inflation

It just wouldn’t be prudent to enter into a long term contract at a fixed rate that does not take into account inflation. Yet that is exactly what the tentative settlement wants to do with the mechanical rate for physical, downloads, and a couple other categories. Yet, we must acknowledge that it is very difficult to herd the cats to get them to agree to anything. But having gotten everyone to agree to freezing mechanicals and having gotten the CRB to agree to adopt that agreement in the past, it may be the case that the parties can get the CRB to let them increase mechanicals going forward.

In other words, take a lesson from Taylor Swift and Eddie Cue and do a quick course correction before the final settlement gets announced on May 18.

So what would that look like? Precedent suggests that the CRB (and its predecessors) have accepted two principal methods of increasing the rate, which is phased in over time: fixed penny-rate increases and CPI indexing. My suggestion would be to employ both methods in a greater of formula (so popular with streaming).

If phased in over 5 years like other rates, it seems that there could be an immediate step up to compensate songwriters for a rate was frozen starting at the time that physical was still a very significant percentage of sales back in 2006. That stepped up rate could then gradually increase with a greater of a fixed penny increase or CPI. I wouldn’t presume to tell anyone what that step up should be, but if you apply the CPI index, it should probably be about 4¢, bringing the minimum rate to 13¢ from 9.1¢. Given that big–albeit entirely justified–jump, increases over the out years might be more modest.

Now that we know that there’s a strong possibility that inflation will be in our lives for the foreseeable future, the good news is there’s still time to do something about it. The CRB has shown us that they are willing to accept radical changes in the mechanical royalty rate by adopting private settlements, so there seems to be no impediment. I’m not aware of a rule that says the CRB only adopts rules that freeze songwriters in place, so it should work to the songwriters betterment and not just to their detriment.

We should ask, what would Taylor and Eddie do?

Will the Copyright Royalty Board Leave Songwriters In the Deep Freeze?

snakeoil-cover-700x400-1

In case you haven’t noticed, songwriter mechanical royalty rates are about to be set again at a faraway Congressional operation called the Copyright Royalty Board. You may say, hold on–I thought that mechanical royalties were being appealed?! True, but that’s just for the ha’penny streaming rates. The rate for physical, permanent downloads, ringtones and bundles are separate rates that were set as part of the last rate hearing.

Well…those rates were not really “set” in the traditional sense. There were no hearings, no evidence was presented, none of the usual back and forth that you see when a handful of the little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol try to divine what a market rate should be for mechanical royalties–for which there has not been a free market in over 100 years. And you can take this to the bank–all that bluster about songwriters just want a free market that you hear from the lobbyists is a load of crap. Children have been put through years of prep school, college and law schools on what it costs to set these rates.

So when the anointed decide not to present any evidence and burn up legal fees by freezing a mechanical rate, you have to wonder what the motivation is.

The statutory rate for physical and permanent downloads have been frozen at 9.1¢ since 2006 because of these side deals that extended the 2006 rates. And they are about to do it again.

Frozen Mechanicals

The way it works is that the publishers and the record companies get in a back room and decide to freeze the rate. Then they submit their settlement to the Copyright Royalty Board (who, unlike the judicial branch, ultimately work for Congress). The CRB then announces that “the parties” having agreed, the judges will adopt the rate without hearing any evidence. And presto changeo, as if by magic every songwriter in the world whose songs are exploited under the U.S. compulsory license are subject to a deal they had no part in deciding and probably didn’t even know was on offer.

It must also be said that U.S. songwriter rates ordered by the government cast a long shadow around the world, so it’s actually worse than that.

And guess what? It’s all happening again, and it’s happening in plain sight if you happen to be someone who reads through the CRB public docket which the smart money says you are not. Possibly because you trust the lobbyists who you made rich to do it for you.

Why is this important? For one thing, if this deep freeze is allowed to go into law, the rate will have been the same for 20 years. Remember that the mechanical rate in the U.S. was frozen at 2¢ for 70 years and this is exactly how it happened. Nobody came in back in 1909 and said, “hey, let’s freeze those rates for 70 years, OK?” Nope, it just creeped and creeped and creeped until one day a songwriter named Hoyt Axton of a predecessor of the Songwriters Guild of America had enough. He lobbied and lobbied and lobbied and finally got the rate increased and eventually got it indexed to inflation.

Mechanical License Royalty Rates 1

Mechanical License Royalty Rates 2

In the words of Alan Shepard, why are they doing this to us? There’s no easy answer. The first thing they often say is that they extend the rate because they are concerned it might go down. There is no CRB in history that has lowered a previously set rate. So that’s bullshit for starters.

Then they say it is because of declining sales in these configurations. Well that wasn’t true in 2006 when CDs made up 80% of US revenues. It wasn’t true in 2009 when CDs were 55%, and it wasn’t true in 2018 when these physical and digital formats were about 20% of revenue. It’s also not true today when these formats are about 15% of billing. Is there a label out there that would say 15% of billing is trivial? So that is also bullshit.

And yet, we are told there is a proposed settlement between NMPA, NSAI, Sony, Universal and Warner that extend the deep freeze another five years if it becomes law. We don’t have the detail, but it should be coming any day now. You can read it here.

US Revenue by Source 2020

The proposed settlement also includes this rather mysterious sentence at the bottom of page 1:

NMPA, UMG, WMG and SME have also reached an agreement in principle concerning a separate memorandum of understanding addressing certain related issues.

Big reveal to follow.

So what is that all about? It couldn’t possibly be a commissionable pending and unmatched settlement for those unimportant physical and download mechanicals? You don’t think it might have something to do with cash changing hands doya?

Ya think?

And it’s all legal.

1100 German Artists Say “The Horror Has No End” About Germany’s New Copyright Law

More than 1100 artists tell the German government: “The horror has no end”

For years we have seen massive encroachments on our artistic freedoms in favor of globally operating digital corporations. This anti-artist prioritization is also reflected in the federal government’s current draft law on the new copyright law.

As early as November 26, 2020, 657 musicians and bands made an appeal, “Do not play copyright against us!” to politicians. That paper disappeared into the drawers and the required respect for our artistic work failed to materialize. Instead, there are regular expert hearings with supposedly network experts, not with artists. From their ideological ivory tower they spin out unrealistic censorship scenarios and create the impression that the network is currently “free” and that the deluge of “upload filters” would only be imminent with the implementation of the European Copyright Directive.

We artists are familiar with platform uses because it is our day-to-day business. We know the problems of over- and underblocking firsthand. As a direct target group of global censorship efforts, we are sensitive to the protection of freedom of expression and artistic freedom. For us it is a slap in the face when network activists hijack the freedom narrative with slogans and catchphrases, argue against platform regulation as in the Copyright Directive and thus gain a greater influence than these global corporations already have.

In 2019, we were stunned to see how the SPD voted against the Copyright Directive. We are stunned to see how the SPD-led Federal Ministry of Justice undermines the European compromise. The federal government sent the draft law to the Bundestag [the German federal parliament] almost unchanged – regardless of our ongoing protests and regardless of all our explanations as to why the “Copyright Service Provider Act” in particular is largely unsuitable for practical use. We recognize in the German draft law the intention to thwart individual copyright claims as well as put real license agreements on an equal footing. Instead of creating a level playing field for our existing licensing market, the German special route restricts it to the maximum with the argument of freedom, of all things. Business models of global upload platforms are protected for the purpose of maximum availability of our plants, while our sales channels are torpedoed with a shrug.

Only the Federal Council takes our concerns about expected collateral damage seriously :

“The Federal Council reminds that copyright law is very often the economic basis for cultural and creative workers and the ability to refinance content is one of the essential foundations for media diversity. It therefore asks that, in the further legislative process, a comprehensive check is made as to whether the draft law as a whole exists The revenue and business models of authors and other rights holders in all affected industries (especially music, film, audiovisual, radio, book and press) are disproportionately impaired. […] The Federal Council points out that the effects of the copyright service provider Law on the German copyright market cannot be adequately assessed at the present time.Copyright Service Provider Act) affects various conflicting interests and has sparked a controversial discussion. Numerous critical voices from various business associations can also be found among them. In view of the largely understandable objections, it is proposed that the passage of the law be subject to the evaluation of its effects on the German copyright market at an appropriate interval. Due to the diversity of copyright-based markets such as the cultural and creative industries, it is important to check whether the regulations are appropriate and practicable and whether they actually lead to the intended balancing of interests. “

For all of us, Peter Maffay recently positioned himself in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and brought the problem to the point. He calls for uniform European regulations, the abolition of the – purely German – 15 seconds rule and the responsibility of the upload platforms for the uses that take place there.

The protection of our rights in the digital space is more urgent than ever for many with the measures taken in the corona pandemic and the accompanying existential threat. Upload platforms that generate considerable profits with our works must finally be effectively held responsible and liable. You may not be relieved by the factual reversal of the license responsibility, e.g. by the cumbersome and only subject to considerable legal consequences that can be challenged. The arbitrary and ironically called “minor use” presumption rules on “legally permitted uses” of non-licensed (!) works are a gateway for systematic copyright infringements, in particular our exclusive right to sole exploitation, but also our moral rights.

We want to continue licensing and retain individual control over our work. The European Copyright Directive takes the pressure off non-commercial uploaders and strengthens our ability to enforce law by making upload platforms responsible for ensuring that there is no need to do anything in the few but painful cases of harmful copyright infringements. It is intolerable that our moral right is now being sacrificed on the altar of supposed consumer protection just because those responsible refuse to give up on dubious and untenable promises of an Internet without a filter.

Filters are only necessary where works have expressly not been licensed. It is reasonable that in these cases the presence of a barrier has to be checked in case of doubt. The consolation of a new collecting society does not help us – especially since it is not certain how much and when and on what accounting basis we will receive our investments.

Copyright is our commercial and labor law. We therefore expect from the members of the Bundestag and especially the members of the Legal Affairs Committee:

· The withdrawal of the quantitative presumption rules for legally permitted uses.

· Maintaining the protection of melodies enshrined in copyright law for decades, regardless of the length of the melody.

The withdrawal of the restrictions on direct licensing by indirect rights holders and the compulsory remuneration through collecting societies despite existing licensing and distribution chains.

· A complete, unrestricted right to information about uses of which the platforms can gain knowledge with a reasonable effort.

· A regulation of the pastiche barrier, which excludes a self-evident subsumability of remixes and sampling.

We see with concern that the time for an expert healing of the failed Copyright Service Provider Law (UrhDaG) is running out and that even proponents of the bill only approve of individual aspects. The implementation of the other necessary aspects of the Copyright Directive should not suffer from this. A subsequent adoption of the UrhDaG and a temporary loophole will affect our work less than a non-practical special zone knitted with a hot needle.

For us and our professional future, the vote on the draft law is the decision in the election year 2021. We therefore call on all members of the Bundestag again not to interfere with our constitutionally protected intellectual property and not to use our copyright against us!

No incapacitation of the artists! No expropriation of the artists! No special German way!

The following artists have signed the enclosed letter “The horror has no end” as first draftsmen:

21 Sunstreet

Abel Lovac

Falling racing pigeons

Achim wet nurse

Achim Petry

Achim Radloff

Achim Rafain

Eight buckets of chicken hearts

Adele Walter

AFFKT

Afterburner

Agitation Free

Airwalk3r

Alan Dixon

Alex garlic

Alex Mayr

Alexander Binder

Alexander Kilian (Café del Mundo)

Alexander Klaws

Alexander King

Alexander Niermann (Botticelli Baby)

Alexander Sandi Kuhn

Alexandra Grübler

Alexis Herrera Estevez

Alf Ator (Knorkator)

Alfons Hefter (feathers)

Alina von der Gathen (KOJ)

All colors

ALLEVIATE

Alvaro Soler

Alvin Mills

Amanda

Amigos

Ana Carina Woitschack

Andhim

Andre Bratten

Andre Graute

Andre Kroenert

André Kunze

Andre Schoettler

Andreas Bayless

Andreas Bourani

Andreas Eckert (Pam Pam Ida & the Silberfischorchester)

Andreas Henneberg

Andreas Radloff

Andreas Rasmussen

Andreas Vitoria-Adzersen

Andreas Völk

Andy Birr (Bell, Book and Candle)

Andy Kouchen

Andy LaToggo

Andy Lutter

Andy Schmidt (Disillusion)

Angel’s Blue

Angela Gossow

Angelika Weiz

Aniko Kanthak

Anja Krabbe

Anja Morell

Anja Schneider

Anna Carewe

Anna-Marlene Bicking

Anne de Wolff

Anne Otto (air)

Annemarie Eilfeld

Anselm Kluge

Ansoumane Kaba

ANTIHELD

Antje Uhle

Antonina Hamann

apparatus

Aquabella

Aram Khlief (dyrtbyte)

Are Foss

Argile

Ariane Stoll (Jani)

Arne Häussermann (An Early Cascade)

Arne Heger & reinforcement

Arne Jansen

Arno Haas

Arnold Fritsch

Arsenii Efremenko

Asja Valcic

Atlantic

Audun Storset

August August

August Hoffmann (Krahnstøver)

August Zirner

Axel Bosse

Axel Fischer

Balbina

Banda Senderos

bar

Barbara Morgenstern

Bård Aasen Lødemel

Basem Darwish (Cairo Steps)

Basti M

Bastian Stein

Bayuk

Beach bag

Beat Agents

Beatrice Egli

Beatsteaks

Behrang Alavi (Samavayo)

Ben Metzner (dArtagnan)

Ben Münchow

Ben sugar

Benedikt Hoenes

Benny Hunter

Bernd Dellbrügge

Bernd Lhotzky

Bernd Römer (carat)

Bernhard Brink

Bernhard Lloyd (Alphaville)

Bertram Engel

Bettina Flörchinger (Östro 430)

Big Balls & The Great White Idiot

Binoculers

Birgit Maren Buschke

Bitume

Bjoern Schirmacher

Bjorn Heuser

Bjorn Störig

Bjørn Torske

BLANK & JONES

Bobbi Fischer (Berta Epple)

boy

Bring ring

Broilers

Bruno Böhmer Camacho

Bukahara

BUZZ DEE (Knorkator)

CJ Johnson

camouflage

Canda

Carom

Carina Hajek (Tinted House)

Carl Carlton

Carl Christian Steenstrup (Of Norway)

Carl-Ludwig Reichert

Carlos Cipa

Carolin No.

Carolina Nathalie Hudek

Carsten Daerr

Cash 22

CassMae

Cecile Verny

Charlotte Grewe

checkpoint Charlie

Children

Chock & Aré

Chono Chibesakunda

Chris Beier

Chris Cool

Chris Gall

Chris Hopkins

Chris Lindner

Chris Möhlenkamp

Chris van Baal

Christian Bruhn

Christian Burkhardt

Christian Engh

Christian Krischowsky

Christian Liebig (carat)

Christian Meyer

Christian Schroeder

Christian Torchiani

Christian Zach

Christin Stark

Christina Rommel

Christmas

Christof Lauer

Christoph Gaertner

Christoph Grab

Christoph Römer (Steven Liquid)

Christoph Stiefel

Cinthie Christl

Cioz

Circus Electric

Cladigal

Cläng

Clara Haberkamp Trio

Clara Rothlander

Claudius Dreilich (carat)

Claus-Robert Kruse

Clemens Benecke (CBGreen)

Cochise

Coppelius

Cornelius Claudio Kreusch

Corvus Corax

Culcha Candela

Cymo

Czech

Damae

Damnation Defaced

Daniel Lopez

Daniel Meteo

Daniel Nitsch

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schütter

Daniel Selke (Ceeys)

Daniel Slam

Daniel Stoll (vision string quartet)

Daniel Tejeda

Daniel Tjus Andersen

Daniel True

Daniel Wirtz

Daniela Alfinito

Daniela Liebl (Taming the Shrew)

Danny Zeremba (Daily Thompson)

Dario Klimke

The money is on the windowsill, Marie

the leak

The panic orchestra

Dave Seaman

David Berton

David Brandes

David Garrett

David Helbock

David Mayer

David Qualey

Debby Smith

Deepaim

Deer jade

Your friends

Denis

Denis Fischer

Dennis Hormes

Dennis Kuhl

Dennis Nutr

Dennis Sagittarius

Dennis Ward

The man

Désirée Nick

Detlef Blanke

Deva Premal

The fishing rod

The doctors

The Feuersteins

The happy

The highest railway

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

The Mimmis

The Mukketier gang

The music students

The princes

The Schatzis

The dead pants

The doors

The customs officers

Diermaier Werner (Zappi)

Dieter “Machine” Birr (Ex-Puhdys)

Dieter Hallervorden

Dieter Ilg

Dieter Kraus

Dieter Weberpals

Dietmar Kawohl

Dietmar Lowka (Quadro Nuevo)

Dietmar Schmidt (Orgasm Death Gimmick)

Dimple Minds

Dirk Dresselhaus

Dirk Duderstadt

Dirk Flatau (Abisko Lights)

Dirk Michaelis

Dirk Sauer (Ed Guy)

Dirk Schelpmeier

Dirk Zöllner

Dissidents

DJ André Siddi

DJ Antoine

Doctor Dru

Dominik Marz

Donots

Dorette Gonschorek (Unplaces)

Doris Orsan

Dorothèe Kreusch-Jacob

Douglas Greed

Dr. Bernd Opinion

Dr. Peter Wegele

Dream Sound Masters

Drenchill

Duivelspack

Ecco Meineke

Echo loop

Edmond Dante’s Weinfeld

Edward Maclean

Edy Edwards

Einar Olsson

Eirik Seu Stokkmo

Eivind Henjum

ela.

Elaiza

Element of Crime

Eleonora Gelmetti

Elfenberg

Eleven morning

Elif

Elio Rodriguez Luis

Ella Finally

Eloy de Jong

Ender Irkdas

NARROW

epitaph

Eric Smax

Erik Skantze

Eva Claus (deEVA.)

Eva Kruse

Even Brenden

Ex machina

Fabian Altstötter (Jungstötter)

Fabian Krooss

Fabian kiss

Fabian Russ

Fabiana Striffler

Fabin Dammers (UDO)

Fabrizio Levita

Fatma Kar

Fairy Badenius

Fee Kürten

Fee Rent (Fee.)

Feline & Strange

Felix Deraed

Felix Gauder

Felix Janosa

Felix Kubin

Felix Lehrmann

Felix Volk

Felix Weis (rolling mill)

FINNA

Fiorella Geide

Flo mega

Florian Grießmann (ANOKI)

Florian Gutmann

Florian artist

Florian Sagner

Florian Willeitner

Folo Dada

Fools Garden

Franca

Frank Fischer

Frank Gala Gahler

Frank Kleingünther (Dieselknecht)

Frank Lehmann

Frank Loef

Frank Nimsgern

Frank Spilker (The Stars)

Frank Wedler

Frank Wiedemann (Âme)

Frank Zander

Frantz Jørgen Andreassen

Franz Rapid

Franziska Seelig

Fred Strand

Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg

Free swimmers

Frida Gold

Frieder Klaris

Friederike Bernhardt

Deadline Puppel (City)

Frizz Feick

Fox devil game

Fur Coat (Sergio Muñoz)

Fury in the Slaughterhouse

FUTURE PALACE

Gabriel Kent

Gary Jones

Geir Hermansen

Geordie Little

George Geccoo

Georgie Fisher

Gerd Grabowski

Gerd janson

Get Well Soon

GG Anderson

Giorgio Gee

Giovanni Costello

Giovanni Zarrella

Gisbert zu Knyphausen

Giuseppe Pepe Solera

Glass bead game

Gloss

Gorge

Götz Alsmann

GProject Blues Band

Gracia Baur

Grandbrothers

Gregor Meyle

Gregor Tresher

Grizzly (Cris Vogt)

GSINDL

Gudrun Good

Guijaygoo

Günther Gebauer

Guru Atman

Well

Guts Pie Earshot

HP Baxter

Hannes Ringlstetter

Hans Nieswandt (solo & Whirlpool Productions)

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm

Harald Grosskopf

Hardy and Heroes

Harry Alfter (Brings)

Heiko Maile

Heiner Gulich

Heinz Ratz

Heinz-Rudolf Kunze

Helene Fischer

Helga Brenninger

Helge Schneider

Helmut Hattler

Helmut Josef Geier (Dj Hell)

Helmut Zerlett

Helmuth Rüssmann

Hendrik Bertram

Hendrik Röder (Bell, Book and Candle)

Henning Brandt-Hansen Severud (Telephones)

Henning Sedlmeir

Henning Severud

Henning Verlage (Unheilig)

Henri Bergmann

Henrik Mayer (MYR)

Henry Poetzsch

Herbert Grönemeyer

Mr. DK

Herwig Mitteregger

Hetzel Pascal (CYRK)

Hidden Empire

Hitfield

Hope

Horst Hansen Trio

Horst Wegener

Housefly

Howard Carpendale

Hill

Hundreds

Iben magpie

Iko Andrae

Illegal colors

In Extremo

Ines Gorka

Ines Weber

Inga Lühning

Ingo Bergsen

Ingo Politz

Inca Bause

Intourist

Ira Atari

Ireen Sheer

Isgaard

Isolation Berlin

Ivaylo Kolev

Jacek Brzozowski

Jack Rush

Jacki Reznicek (Silly)

Jakob Encke (vision string quartet)

Jakob Seidensticker

Jamaram

Jan Kerscher (Like Lovers)

Jan Pascal (Cafe del Mundo)

Jan Zehrfeld

Jana Groß (Bell, Book and Candle)

Janika Groß (Molllust)

Jan-Ole Lamberti (Nailed To Obscurity)

Janosch Korell

Jan-Philipp Wiesmann

Jaques Raupé

Jarle Bråthen

Jasmin Adgezalov (unloved)

Jasmina de Boer

Jazzy Gudd

Jean Jacobi

Jeanette Biedermann

Jean-Hervé Peron (Faust)

Jean-Jaques Kravetz

Jelena Kuljić

Jens Ewald

Jens child father

Jens Kosmiky (KrAWAllo)

Jens Loh

Jens Ophälders

Jens Thomas

Jens-Uwe Beyer (popnoname)

JEREMIAS

Jermaine Landsberger

Jey aux platines

Jiggler

Jimi Jules

Jirka Otte

Jo Ambros

Joachim Dyrdahl

Joachim Wolf

Jocelyn B. Smith

Jochen Klüßendorf

Jochen Leistner (The Shadow Lizzards)

Jochen Schmadtke (air)

Joe Fischer

Joe war

Johan Daansen

Johanna Borchert

Johanna Summer

Johannes Cernota

Johannes glorious

Johannes Maikranz

Johannes Oerding

Johannes Stankowski

Johannes Till (Tinted House)

Johannes Tonio Kreusch

Jon Berry

Jon Flemming Olsen

Jon Welch

Jonas Frömming (The Lumpenpack)

Jonny Glut

Joo Kraus

Jörg “Knickiknacki” carpenter

Jörg Seidel

Jörg Warthy Wartmann

Jörg Weißelberg

Joris

Joris Biesmans

Jorita Solf

Jörkk Mechenbier

Joshua Oldenburg

Joss Turnbull

Joy Denalane

Joyosa

Judy and The Gardeners

Julia Engelmann

Julia Kautz

Julia Müller

Julia Neigel

Julian Ortleb

Julian Stetter

Julian Wasserfuhr

Junkx

Jupiter Jones

Jürgen Fastje

Kai Brückner

Kai Havaii (extra wide)

Kai Schumacher

Kai Sichtermann (clay stones shards)

Kai Sonnenhalter

Kai Wingenfelder (Wingenfelder)

Kajetan Löffler

KALEA

Kalle Kalima

Kalle Risan Sandås

Kaman Leung

Kamil Müller (Django 3000)

Kåre Frisvold

Karibuni

Karl Bartos

Karl Brausch

Karl Ivar Refseth

Karmin Amun (sons of Mannheim)

Karolina Trybala

Karoshi

Katharine Mehrling

Kathrin Rettl (Mila Masu)

Katja Moslehner

Merchant

Basement child

Kelvin Jones

Ken Taylor

Kenn Hartwig (CAR)

Kerstin Ott

Ketil Kinden Endresen

Kevin Haselmeier

Kevin Krämer (Justis)

Kiki (Joakim Willich)

Kilian & Jo

Kilian Forster (Klazz Brothers)

Kilian Kemmer

Kiosk ID

Kitsch war

Kjetil Bjøreid Aabø

Klaas

Klaus Bechstein

Klaus Doldinger

Klaus Hoffmann

Klaus Meine (Scorpions)

Klaus Paier

Toilet TV

KMFDM

Knasterbeard

Knut Stenert (Samba, Knut and the bitter woman, Hans Maria Richter)

Kolbjørn Lyslo

Konstantin Wecker

Korbinian Kugler

Kramsky

Kristian Møller Johansen

Kristian Rädle (Âme)

L’aupaire

LaneCryspo

Lari Luke

Lars Christian Olsen

Laura Kipp (LAURA)

Laura Kozlowski

Laura Phillips

Lennard Eggers

Leonard Disselhorst (vision string quartet)

Leslie Mandoki

Liliath

Lilly dangling

Locust fudge

LoFiLu

Love A

Lovra

Luca Musto

Lucas Hunter

Luci van Org (Lucilectric, Meystersinger, Über Mutter, Lucina Soteira)

Lucina Soteira

Luis Baltes (Five Star Deluxe)

Lukas master

Lukas prank

Lukas Wiesemüller

Luke Woodapple

Luky Zappatta

Luna City Express

Lyane Hegemann (E-rotic)

M. Walking On The Water

Macho Cutie (Vegard Wolf Dyvik, Of Norway)

Mad Hatter’s Daughter

Mad Mark

Maenad Veyl

Magdalena Ganter

Magnus Sheehan

Maik Czymara (An Early Cascade)

Maik Pinto

Maike Lindemann

Maite Kelly

Majan

Malou

Mandy Capristo

Manfred Maurenbrecher

Manfred Zick (Zither Manä)

Manne Schlaier

Manuel Schmid

Mara Mutz

Marc Awounou

Marc Reason

Marcapasos

Marcel Thenee

Marco Buser

Marco Duderstadt

Marco Repetto (gray area)

Marco Resmann

Marcus Fischer

Marcus Forsgren

Marcus Green

Marcus Worgull

Marek Arnold

Margit Sarholz

Maria Perzil

Marian Gold (Alphaville)

Marianne Rosenberg

Mario Alsleben (Pimalo)

Mario Aparicio

Mario Noll

Mario Valley

Marion Welch

Marius Engemoen

Marius Sommerfeldt

Marius Våreid

Mark Barrott

Mark Meier

Markus Becker

Markus Hassold

Markus Rennhack (unloved)

Marteria

Martin Becker (carat)

Martin Brugger (Fazer)

Martin de Vries

Martin Gretschmann (Acid Pauli / Console)

Martin Hansmann

Martin Kälberer

Martin Langer

Martin Schrack

Martin Schröder

Martin Solli

Martina Eisenreich

Martina Weith (Östro 430)

Marv Endt

Marvin Müller

Masha Qrella

Mass defect

Mathias Petry

Mathias Roska

Mathias Schober

Matias Monsen

Mats Frantzvaag

Matt Karmil

Matthew Styles-Harris

Matthias Hamburger

Matthias Reim

Máni Orrason

Maurice sums

Mausio

Max Alberti (Jamaram)

Max Buskohl

Max Herre

Max Kaspar

Max Kleinschmidt (Lizot)

Max Lean

Max Martin Schröder

Max Mutzke

Max Paul Maria

Max prose

Max von Mosch

Maximilian Kennel (The Lumpenpack)

Maximilian Raine (VUG)

Maximilian Stadtfeld

Megaloh

Meike Schmitz (Schwarz and Schmitz, LUUM)

Meinhard

Meinhard Jenne

Mercedes Lalakakis (Daily Thompson)

Micha Moor

Michael Cores

Michael Girke (NOW!)

Michael Koschorreck

Michael Lorenz

Michael Mangels (Mijk van Dijk)

Michael Mayer

Michael Melchner

Michael Nass (BAP, Die Seilschaft)

Michael Schab (An Early Cascade)

Michael Uchner

Michelle Sara Lahn

Michi Leuscher

Michl Bloching (Levantino)

Mikimoto

Mikkel Haraldstad

Miland “Mille” Petrozza (Kreator)

mine

Mira

Miriam Arens (Liliath)

Missus Beastly

Miten

Fashion selector

Mona Mur

Monika Ehrhardt Lakomy

Monika Kruse

Monrath

Moonwalk

Moritz Müller

Moritz Reichelt (The Plan)

Morten Øby

Mr. Hurley & The Powder Monkeys

Mulay

Mulo Francel (Quadro Nuevo)

Mushroom People

Nadine thimble

Nadine Maria Schmidt

Naomi Camilla Straume Moen

Natalie Poppinger

Nathalie De Bora

Nathalie Dorra

nautilus

Neon light

Nice Brazil

Nick Curly

Nico Santos

Nico Stojan

Nicole Bolley

Niels Frevert

Nik Thaele

Nikel Pallat (clay stone shards)

Nikita Scion

Niklas Linzer

Niko Schwind

Nils Imhorst (Firasso)

Nils Landgren

Nils von der Gathen (KOJ)

Nils Wogram

Nils Wülker

Norbert Emminger

Norbert Grille Roth

Norbert Staudte (Taming the Shrew)

Olaf Malolepski

Ole Andreas Olafsrud

Ole Feddersen

Ole Martin Vilberg

Ole Rausch (Laith al Deen)

Ole Seelenmeyer

Oli Bott

Oliver Braun

Oliver Dunk

Oliver Hartmann

Oliver Huntemann

Oliver Koletzki

Oliver Lieb

Oliver Rohrbeck

Oliver Black

Oliver Thomas

Oliver West (POINT BLVNK)

Olivia Baer

Olympya

Omer Klein

Ostückenberg

OUR MIRAGE

Out of Berlin

OVE

Øyvind Morken

Pascal Kravetz

Paso Doble

Pat Appleton (De-Phazz)

Patric Catani

Patrick Foellmer (lilabungalow)

Patrick Hespeler

Patrick Kunkel

Patrick Legont

Patrick Milaa

Paul Pötsch (rubble)

Patrick Reerink

Patrick Siegfried Zimmer

Paul Schmitz-Moormann (Kid Paul, Energy 52)

Paul van Dyk

Paul Wetz

Paula Linke

Per Martinsen

Pete Mazell

Peter “Spiko” Spiecker

Peter Brandenburg

Peter Brings

Peter Bursch

Peter Fleming

Peter Hubert (VHF)

Peter light

Peter Maffay

Peter Renaud (Tiktaalik)

Peter Ries

Peter Schmidt (The Blues Experience)

Peter Schneekloth

Peter Schumann

Petra Zieger and band

Philip Lauer (Lauer)

Philipp Fein

Philipp Höcketstaller (Hundling)

Philipp Janzen (Vacation in Poland, Von Spar)

Philipp Schwab (Knorkator)

Philip Stoeckenius (Kaltenkirchen)

Philipp Stauber

Phillip Boa

Pit Baumgartner (De-Phazz)

Pit Budde

Plastic funk

pølaroit

Potsch Potschka

Prince Chaos II. (Alias ​​Florian Kirner)

Prof. Esther Kaiser

Proj3ct 7

PURE

Purple Schulz

Quarterhead

Queenz of Piano

Rainer Max Lingk (ESTA * bien!)

Rainer Oleak

Rainer Scheithauer

Rainer Schober (Scotty Bullock)

Ralf Blümner (Goldkind, Lucilectric)

Ralf Hildenbag

Ralf Hütter (power plant)

Ralf Lübke (Monkeeman)

Ralf Zenker

Ralph Gustke

Ralph Siegel

Rammstein

Ramon Bessel

Ramon Zenker

Rana Merve Kilic

Rampage

Rantan plan

Raoul Walton

Rave Busterz

Re.You (Marius Maier)

Real Ax Band

Rebekka Salomea Ziegler (SALOMEA)

Reiko Gohlke (Knorkator)

Reinhold Heil

René Kollo

Richie Arndt

Richie Necker

Ritchie Barton (Silly)

Ritchy Fondermann

Robbie shoulder

Robby Kranz (Disillusion, Far Or Near)

Robert Gemmel (Elephants on Tape)

Robert Lippok

Robert Seidel (Arpen)

Robin Craaford

Robin Schulz

Rocco

Rock house

Rocko Schamoni

Roedelius

Roland Fidezius

Roland Kaiser

Roland nephew

Roman Wasserfuhr

Ron Last

Ronny

Rosa Hoelger

Snot-nose theater

Roy Stroebel (Strobe, Ravers Nature, RAT)

Rüdiger Badlauf

Rudolf Moser (Einstürzende Neubauten)

Rudolf Schenker (Scorpions)

Rumble Militia

Rummel racke

Lindbæk rune

Sabine Kaufmann

Sahraoui Sami (CYRK)

Sain (Ningu Storm)

Sam Shure

Sam Vance-Law

Sammy Kandler (Tillmann)

Samuel Dickmeis (Manni)

Sander Stuart (vision string quartet)

Sandra Grether (Doctorella)

Santiano

Saprize

Sarah Lesch

Sarah Stewart

Sarah Wild

Sascha Panknin

Schiller

Tow spirit

Schneider TM

Scrap border

Scooter

Seb Iphone

Sebastian Dold (KrAWAllo)

Sebastian Gramss

Sebastian Hackel

Sebastian Schütze (TinTin, Baru)

Sebastian Siebhoff

Sebastian Starke

Seed cake

At that time

Selda Zenker

Sepalot

Sera finale

Shelter boy

She-Male Trouble

SHIRLEY HOLMES

Shuko

Sibylle Kynast

Sidewalk surfers

Silvio Schneider

Simon Beeston

Simon Freidhöfer

Simon Sure

Simon von der Gathen (KOJ)

Simon Wangeman (Iheartsharks, The New)

are

SINE

Sirrah

Sisters on the Rocks

Siyou Isabelle Ngnoubamdjum

Skadi Lange (Miss Lange)

Skip Reinhardts

Sleeping drones

SLIME

Sneaker

Snuff crew

Sonja Banzhaf

Sonja Huber (Lottchen)

Sönke Düwer (Ensemble du Verre)

Sophie Black

Sören Fischer

Sotiria

Space Indians

Sparifankal

SPLIFF

Stefan Brügesch (Steve Bug)

Stefan Dabruck

Stefan Glaubitz

Stefan Grimm

Stefan Gwildis

Stefan Kleinkrieg (extra wide)

Stefan Krähe

Stefan Mross

Stefan Schmidt

Stefan Stoppok

Stefanie Polster

Steffen Berkhahn (Dixon)

Steffen Kämbt

Steffi Stephan

Sten Servaes (clover)

Stephan Eppinger

Stephan Gorol

Stephan Graf’s double vision

Stephan Philipp

Stephan Voland (Samavayo)

Stephanie Lottermoser

Steve Murano

Steve Parry

Steve van Velvet

Stump (knorkator)

Super chock distortion

Susanne Betancor

Susanne Folk

Suzi Kerstgens (Klee)

Sven Faller

Sven Greiner

Sven Pollkötter

Sven Roswog (svensyntetics)

SvenDeeKay

Sven-RG

T.Noize

Tamara Lukasheva

Tanja Grandmontagne

Taraka Rama Krishna Kanth Kannuri

Tarjei Nygård

Telmo Pires

Teresa Bergman

Terje Olsen (Todd Terje)

Terror group

The Dad Horse Experience

The Day

The Dry Tortugas

The esprits

The Munich Sheiks

THE OKLAHOMA KID

The pighounds

The Romeos

The Roughnecks

The Wayf

Theodor Shitstorm

Theodor Strom

Thomas Barth (Sunbase Records TBC)

Thomas Fehlmann

Thomas Gallatin

Thomas Klein (Sølyst)

Thomas Moen Hermansen (Prins Thomas)

Thomas Plug

Thomas Porwol (Arte Gemini)

Thomas Sauerborn

Thomas Schumacher

Thomas Thumann (Pam Pam Ida & the Silberfischorchester)

Thomas Wydler (Nick Cave, The Skin)

Thomasz Skulski

Thorsten Klentze

Thorsten Wingenfelder (Wingenfelder)

Tibetréa

Till Brönner

Tilo Weber & Four Fauns

Tim bendzko

Tim Hahn

Tim Kamrad

Tim Rodig

Timofey Sattarov

Tingvall Trio

To Rococo red

Tobi Neumann

Tobias Forster

Tobias Öller

Tobias Sammet (Avantasia)

Tobias Schwall

Toby Pluta

TOKA

Tokio Hotel

Tom Astor

Tom Dragebo

Tom Gatza

Tom Kiemle (Tillmann)

Tom Peters

Tomas tulip

Tommy Finke

Tommy Hresh

Tommy Remm (Valicon)

Toni Krahl (City)

Torben Möller-Meissner

Torsten de Winkel

Torsten Reitler (REITLER)

Township rebellion

Trettmann

Triinu Kivilaan (Vanilla Ninja)

Triskilian

Truck stop

Truls Kvam

Udo Erdenreich (ZIGURI)

Udo Lindenberg

Ulf Annel

Ulf Kleiner

Uli Poeppelbaum

Ulla Meinecke

Ulrike Hagemann

Uncanny Valley

Upercent (Jose Molés Martínez)

Ute Freudenberger

Uwe Bastiansen

Uwe Fischer

Uwe Hassbecker (Silly)

Uwe Schmidt (ATM)

Valentine

Valentin Butt

Van der Karsten

vandermeer

Vecente Patiz

VENUES

Vera climate

Veronika Faber

Veronika Gast (spring carnations)

Verse gold

Vincent Groß

VITJA

Vladyslav Sendecki

Volker Holly Schlott

Volker Rechin

Volker Rosin

Volkwin Müller

voXXclub

VUG

Madness

brown owl

Wallis Bird

Walter Lang

Wareika

Werner Meier

Werner Schmidbauer

West Lake

Willy Wagner

Wincent Weiss

Wolf Maahn

Wolfgang Loos

Wolfgang Niedecken (BAP)

Wolfgang Petry

Wolfgang Schmid

Wolfram Spyra (The Spyra)

What We Are Looking For

Wooden Peak

Wrong chat

Wrong haircut

Wuide Wachl

Xao Seffcheque (Family Five)

Yetti Meissner

Yoyo Röhm

Zavet

ZK

Zoe Wees

Zwakkelmann

Guest Post: Honesty In Our Favor: HFA Loses Attempt To Exit Eight Mile Style Case–What Implications For MLC?

Guest post by Chris Castle

The Uniform Commercial Code defines “good faith” as “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing.”

Spotify was sued by Eight Mile Style and Martin Affiliated, two publishers that control rights in some of the early Eminem repertoire, including Lose Yourself. Remember that earlier this year, Spotify announced with great fanfare that Lose Yourself was streamed over 1 billion times on the platform. That’s just one measurement of Eminem’s dominance on Spotify. Turns out that Spotify had failed to license a good chunk of Eminem’s catalog.

The publishers eventually joined the Harry Fox Agency to the lawsuit as participating in the situation, adding claims of vicarious and contributory copyright infringement against the long-time publishing administrator to the industry. In fact, the Harry Fox Agency gave some people the impression that when it came to Section 115 of the Copyright Act, HFA thought they were the government. What ever is this venerable organization doing getting sued for copyright infringement instead of leading the charge against the infringer?

At one point a few years ago, quite a few years ago now, HFA decided to jump up on top of the wall. They started working for tech companies like Spotify and also administering publishing rights. That’s right–both sides. What could possibly go wrong?

Let me illustrate with an anecdote (one that does not involve HFA, or MRI for that matter). A highly ethical licensing administrator interviewed for a job handling music licensing for a big tech company. After several rounds of interviews, the administrator was told they weren’t getting the job. Asking for a reason, the tech company told the administrator that the company thought the administrator were likely going to flag and at least try to fix any problems they found in the tech company’s reporting. The administrator didn’t find this remarkable as this was the honest thing to do. The company said, we don’t want honesty when it’s not in our favor. The company hired someone else because they did not want “honesty in fact”.

There are serious allegations against the Harry Fox Agency in the Eight Mile Case. Remember, this is a defense motion to dismiss, so the plaintiff largely gets the benefit of the doubt in their favor. You may ask yourself what possible motivation could Spotify have for engaging in such risky behavior. In her order denying in part and granting in part HFA’s motion to dismiss, Judge Trauger puts her finger right on the most plausible explanation:

[I]t is undisputed that [Eminem, aka Marshall] Mathers is an artist who has enjoyed extraordinary commercial success and has built a large, dedicated fanbase, such that his omission from a major streaming platform might discourage some meaningful number of potential users from subscribing

In other words, they did it for the subscribers, they did it for the growth and they did it for the money.

While Eight Mile alleged both vicarious and contributory infringement, Judge Trauger dismissed the claim for vicarious infringement on technical grounds (with leave to amend). Not so with the claim for contributory infringement, however:

HFA objects that it was under no obligation to police Spotify’s in-house decisions regarding infringement. Whether that is true or not, the plaintiffs have not merely alleged that HFA failed to affirmatively police Spotify’s conduct; they have alleged both that HFA knew and, through the ordinary fulfillment of its duties, should have known that the infringement was occurring and that HFA was helping to conceal it.…There is little doubt, moreover, that those allegations of knowledge were pleaded sufficiently. Even when a claim is governed by the heightened pleading requirements of Rule 9(b), “[m]alice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of a person’s mind may be alleged generally.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b). The Supreme Court, moreover, has recognized a party’s “aiming to satisfy a known source of demand for copyright infringement” as evidence of an improper purpose in the contributory infringement analysis. Grokster, 545 U.S. at 939. That circumstantial evidence is only heightened when the defendant, knowing of the capacity for infringement, fails to take steps to avoid it. See id. (citing Groskter’s lack of “attempt[s] to develop filtering tools or other mechanisms to diminish the infringing activity using their software”).

The plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that HFA became aware of Spotify’s licensing predicament and offered services that directly filled its need to maintain an illusion of lawfulness while continuing to infringe. 

If these allegations turn out to be proven true, songwriters (and the Copyright Office for that matter) may well ask themselves if there are implications for HFA’s continued role as a vendor for The MLC, if not why they were selected in the first place.

This post first appeared in MusicTechPolicy

@unite4copyright: Celebrate World IP Day/Week 2021

On April 26, 2021, the Copyright Alliance will once again celebrate World IP Day (WIPD). WIPD is recognized on the same day in April of each year to remind everyone of the critical role that intellectual property plays in encouraging creativity and innovation. And from April 26-30, the Copyright Alliance will celebrate WIPD by joining our members, partners, and countless creators and organizations around the world to mark the occasion by amplifying blogs and videos, hosting virtual events, and much more—all designed to celebrate the fact that IP helps the global arts scene to flourish and enables the innovation that drives human progress.

Read the post on Copyright Alliance

Open Letter: Dozens of Artists, Musicians and Songwriters Seek Referral to UK Regulators to Oversee Streaming Royalties

[A bit of context: With all the riches being made from streaming, session musicians and vocalists make zero. And don’t forget that music made Daniel Ek a billionaire.]

Broken Record Campaign

Ivors Academy

Musicians Union

April 20, 2021

The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
W1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister,

We write to you on behalf of today’s generation of artists, musicians and songwriters here in the UK.

For too long, streaming platforms, record labels and other internet giants have exploited performers and creators without rewarding them fairly.  We must put the value of music back where it belongs – in the hands of music makers.

Streaming is quickly replacing radio as our main means of music communication. However, the law has not kept up with the pace of technological change and, as a result, performers and songwriters do not enjoy the same protections as they do in radio.

Today’s musicians receive very little income from their performances – most featured artists receive tiny fractions of a US cent per stream and session musicians receive nothing at all.

To remedy this, only two words need to change in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. This will modernise the law so that today’s performers receive a share of revenues, just like they enjoy in radio. It won’t cost the taxpayer a penny but will put more money in the pockets of UK taxpayers and raise revenues for public services like the NHS.

There is evidence of multinational corporations wielding extraordinary power and songwriters struggling as a result. An immediate government referral to the Competition and Markets Authority is the first step to address this. Songwriters earn 50% of radio revenues, but only 15% in streaming. We believe that in a truly free market the song will achieve greater value.

Ultimately though, we need a regulator to ensure the lawful and fair treatment of music makers. The UK has a proud history of protecting its producers, entrepreneurs and inventors. We believe British creators deserve the same protections as other industries whose work is devalued when exploited as a loss-leader.

By addressing these problems, we will make the UK the best place in the world to be a musician or a songwriter, allow recording studios and the UK session scene to thrive once again, strengthen our world leading cultural sector, allow the market for recorded music to flourish for listeners and creators, and unearth a new generation of talent.

We urge you to take these forward and ensure the music industry is part of your levelling-up agenda as we kickstart the post-Covid economic recovery.

Yours Sincerely,

Damon Albarn OBE

Lily Allen

Wolf Alice

Marc Almond OBE

Joan Armatrading CBE

David Arnold

Massive Attack

Jazzie B OBE

Adam Bainbridge (Kindness)

Emily Barker

Gary Barlow OBE

Geoff Barrow

Django Bates

Brian Bennett OBE

Fiona Bevan

Aflie Boe OBE

Billy Bragg

The Chemical Brothers

Kate Bush CBE

Melanie C

Eliza Carthy MBE

Martin Carthy MBE

Celeste

Guy Chambers

Mike Batt LVO

Don Black OBE 

Badly Drawn Boy

Chrissy Boy

Tim Burgess

Mairéad Carlin

Laura-Mary Carter

Nicky Chinn

Dame Sarah Connolly DBE

Phil Coulter 

Roger Daltrey CBE

Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress)

Ian Devaney

Chris Difford

Al Doyle

Anne Dudley

Brian Eno

Self Esteem

James Fagan

Paloma Faith

Marianne Faithfull

George Fenton

Rebecca Ferguson

Robert Fripp

Shy FX

Gabrielle

Peter Gabriel

Noel Gallagher

Guy Garvey

Bob Geldof KBE

Boy George

David Gilmour CBE

Nigel Godrich

Howard Goodall CBE

Jimi Goodwin

Graham Gouldman 

Tom Gray

Roger Greenaway OBE

Will Gregory

Ed Harcourt

Tony Hatch OBE

Richard Hawley

Justin Hayward

Fran Healy

Orlando Higginbottom

Jools Holland OBE, DL

Mick Hucknall

Crispin Hunt

Shabaka Hutchings

Eric Idle

John Paul Jones

Julian Joseph OBE

Kano

Linton Kwesi Johnson

Gary Kemp

Nancy Kerr

Richard Kerr

Soweto Kinch

Beverley Knight MBE

Mark Knopfler OBE

Annie Lennox OBE

Shaznay Lewis

Gary Lightbody OBE

Tasmin Little OBE

Calum MacColl

Roots Manuva

Laura Marling

Johnny Marr

Chris Martin

Claire Martin OBE

Cerys Matthews MBE

Sir Paul McCartney CH MBE

Horse McDonald

Thurston Moore

Gary “Mani” Mounfield

Mitch Murray CBE 

Field Music

Frank Musker 

Laura Mvula

Kate Nash

Stevie Nicks

Orbital

Roland Orzabal

Gary Osborne 

Jimmy Page OBE

Hannah Peel

Daniel Pemberton

Yannis Philippakis

Anna Phoebe

Phil Pickett 

Robert Plant CBE

Karine Polwart

Emily Portman

Chris Rea

Eddi Reader MBE

Sir Tim Rice 

Orphy Robinson MBE

Matthew Rose

Nitin Sawhney CBE

Anil Sebastian

Peggy Seeger

Nadine Shah

Feargal Sharkey OBE

Shura

Labi Siffre

Martin Simpson

Skin

Mike Skinner

Curt Smith

Fraser T Smith

Robert Smith

Sharleen Spiteri

Lisa Stansfield

Sting CBE

Suggs

Tony Swain 

Heidi Talbot

John Taylor

Phil Thornalley 

KT Tunstall

Ruby Turner MBE

Becky Unthank

Norma Waterson MBE

Cleveland Watkiss MBE

Jessie Ware

Bruce Welch OBE

Kitty Whately

Ricky Wilde

Olivia Williams

Daniel “Woody” Woodgate

Midge Ure OBE

Nikki Yeoh

@ddayen: Arts Venue Closures Likely After Months-Long Delay in Federal Grant Program #saveourstages

A critical $16.25 billion grant program to sustain thousands of small creative venues that haven’t been able to open since the pandemic began has yet to deliver a cent of relief four months after passage, due to delays and faulty technology at the Small Business Administration (SBA). A website constructed to take grant applications closed last week after only four hours online, because of constant crashes and an inability to intake documents. It has not been restored and there’s no timetable for its return….

The disastrous situation is an example of how passing a bill is only the beginning of the policy process. Too many pundits have skipped right ahead to measuring President Biden for Mount Rushmore based on one piece of emergency legislation. But he will likely rise or fall on implementation; if beloved music venues and theaters close across the country because the SBA can’t manage a functioning website, all the legislation in the world won’t matter. 

Read the post on The American Prospect

The Metadata Hot Potato: The MLC Enters the Jerry McGuire Reality

By Chris Castle

Here it is: Today is the day that the MLC is required to send out their first round of statements and payments. The deadline they gave themselves when their wrote their law.

The MLC is about to hear those beautiful words. They will hear it in English. They will hear it in Spanish. They will hear it in Bantu, French, Portuguese, Pashto, Russian, Hausa, Berber and Czech.

And songwriters will say it like they mean it. They won’t want to hear about “connect to collect” they won’t want to hear about “play your part” or the ontological definition of “match.”

They will say just one thing–show me. The MLC will hear it on the phone, in email, maybe even in person. And songwriters will want to hear everyone at MLC say those magic words. Loud. The family motto. A very personal and important thing. It should be said with conviction maybe even shouted from the rooftops.

No more hot potato. And while it may start with MLC it won’t end there. If the services think they are off the hook, there’s just one thing to say. Are you ready? You know what it is.

The money. They got it, we want it, now show it. Very simple.

But just in case it doesn’t all go swimmingly on April 15, it might be time to start thinking about drafting an affirmative obligation on your publisher to take care of any bad data in your publishing or administration agreements (or at least try–let me know how far you get). Most of what I’ve heard anecdotally about the quality of the MLC public database leads me to think that songwriters think the publisher is registering their songs correctly at the MLC. So why not put it in writing?

If you don’t, that hot potato will just keep on bouncing around if there’s not a clear place where the buck stops. The services will blame the MLC, the MLC will say you didn’t connect to collect to play your part, your publisher will blame the MLC, and round and round and round it goes.

You know what you tell them, right? The family motto.

This post first appeared on MusicTechPolicy

Here to Help: Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operator’s Grant Portal is Still Down

By Chris Castle

The eight most terrifying words are “We’re from Washington and we’re here to help.” Notwithstanding the appropriation of billions in revenue, the SBA’s application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant is still not up and running. This means that at least hundreds of venues that are on the verge of collapse or have collapsed can’t get the money that Congress appropriated, or even apply to get those funds.

Remember, this grant program is not on the magnitude of the Affordable Care Act launch catastrophe or the nonexistent musical works database. The SVOG is a relatively manageable number of potential applicants by comparison. And yet they still can’t get out of their own way. Rest assured, everyone at the SBA will get their paycheck this week, their overhead will be paid for, no problem. And somewhere, someplace in the federal government’s apparatus sits billions of dollars to save our culture. And sits. And sits.

The site was supposed to launch a week ago on April 8 which was itself after months of delay. It’s no wonder the the SBA Inspector General issued a scathing report calling out the organization for mismanagement of the SVOG program–before it even launched.

So you can know two things–there’s no way to know when the money will be paid but there is a way to know that no one–and I mean not a soul–will be held accountable. They can have all the reports they want, but nothing ever happens with these things. They’re from Washington and you can embrace the suck.

This post first appeared on MusicTechPolicy

SBA Inspector General Report: Serious Concerns About SBA’s Control Environment and the Tracking of Performance Results in the #SaveOurStages/Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program

By Chris Castle

As we’ve noted before, the Small Business Administration is seriously behind on opening the application process for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Turns out we’re not the only ones who are concerned–the SBA Inspector General has issued a damning report on the SBA’s failure to properly staff and administer the billions in funds appropriated by Congress to get venues up and running in the music economy.

The federal assistance directive also specifies that the Director of the Office of Grants Management appoints all grants management officers and makes decisions on the respective warrant level based on the training, qualifications, and experience of the grants officer. However, on March 10, 2021, the acting Chief Operating Officer waived the standard experience, training, and certification requirements and the agency grants training plan for administering all existing and future emergency grant programs related to the impact of COVID-19. SBA established these requirements and the training plan to address the systemic weaknesses OIG found in prior audits of SBA’s grants management.

Currently, the [SVOG] program office has one designated official and its staff are on temporary detail. At this time, SBA has not formalized a plan for staffing this office relative to the volume of applications expected. The agency has also not defined the organizational structure for administering the program.

SBA expects the majority of the awards made under this program to be $1 million or less. Based on the current risk model, these awards would be disbursed as lump-sum advance payments with minimal reporting requirements and agency oversight. It is important that the application reviewing officials use careful scrutiny to review the applicants’ proposed budgets to ensure funds will be used for allowable, allocable, and reasonable expenses. OIG believes that SBA does not have the staff necessary to provide effective oversight over the SVOG program. Insufficient oversight of the SVOG program increases the risk that funds will be misspent, inadequately monitored, or improperly paid.

The Inspector General tends to worry about waste, fraud and abuse, but does it really need to be said that they assume the money is actually paid?

It is incredible that Congress has appropriated the funds but the bureaucracy cannot manage to get the funds through the last mile to the venues that desperately need the money–it’s really beyond desperation. I realize that the stimulus bill was passed immediately before a change in Executive Branch administrations, but that’s really no excuse.

Right now the money is just sitting at SBA and there better be a nice crisp answer for when applications are open and when money is to be disbursed. Applications were supposed to be open today, but the Inspector General’s report strongly suggests that there is not enough staffing available to actually process the applications. Remember–the money for this one comes directly from the SBA.

Austin Rep. Roger Williams, the bill’s House author, issued this statement:

“The SVOG Application opened this afternoon at 12pm ET. I’ve already heard from constituents experiencing issues with the SBA’s application portal, as of this afternoon the SBA temporarily suspended the portal due to technical difficulties. The SBA’s rollout of the SVOG has been torturous for venue operators who were promised relief more than 3 months ago,” said Congressman Williams. “My bipartisan Save our Stages Act authorized the SVOG and was signed into law by President Trump on December 27th. Under the Biden Administration the program has been plagued with delays and mismanagement at every juncture. President Biden failed to put in place capable SBA officials to deliver relief for small businesses and taxpayers in need. Just yesterday, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report detailing the Biden SBA’s shortcomings with the SVOG, which hampered the application process and called into question whether the appropriate governance and oversight is in place.

It’s critically important that that the House Small Business Committee address the SBA’s shortcomings. Further delays for eligible business owners are unacceptable. I urge the SBA to make the SVOG a top priority moving forward and President Biden to put qualified individuals into key leadership positions so similar failures will not occur in the future.”