The Washington beltway turned a deaf ear to artists’ rights until one guy, one activist, wrote the words “I Respect Music” on an index card and showed it to the world.
Now, thousands upon thousands of music makers and music lovers are standing together and making history by adding their names to a petition that is not only shaking up the music world, it’s shaking up Congress.
To sign the petition, please visit http://www.irespectmusic.org.
READ THE FULL STORY DIGITAL JOURNAL:
Musician and artists rights advocate Blake Morgan has launched a new website, http://irespectmusic.org/ and the hashtag #irespectmusic
We’re looking forward to seeing what he’s been up too…
In music specifically, 2013 has been a year unlike any other in recent memory. It’s been a year that has seen musicians stand up and speak out on behalf of their profession like never before. And the results have been historic. Internet radio giant Pandora has announced it’s abandoning its pursuit of legislation that would lower artists’ royalties. Congress is now taking another look at copyright reform. Spotify has responded to broad criticism and made their operations more transparent. And perhaps most significant, music lovers are now standing with music makers to help push these issues forward.
For the first time in a long time, there’s a lot to be hopeful about if you’re a musician. There are tremendous fights ahead, against powerful forces, on many fronts. But we have something those forces don’t have. We have something worth fighting for.
READ THE FULL POST AT HUFFPO:
New blog Music Intelligentsia digs into Music, Politics, Innovation. Dig In!
Fair Use by Google Books? Fair Use by GoldieBlox? Is copyright law being turned on its already-spinning head? Music Intelligentsia presents the commentary of 10 highly regarded experts regarding this important and controversial issue.
For quick reference, please use the links below to go directly to a particular commentary.
Dennis Dreith (Music Composer, Orchestrator, Advocate)
Amanda Harcourt (International IP Consultant)
Casey Rae (Interim Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition)
Charles J. Sanders (Outside General Counsel To The Songwriters Guild Of America, Inc.)
Ted Sabety (Intellectual Property Attorney)
Chris Castle (Music Attorney)
Jay Rosenthal (Senior Vice-President and General Counsel at the National Music Publishers’ Associations’)
Blake Morgan (Recording Artist, Producer, And Label-Founder)
Scott Cleland (President of Precursor LLC and Publisher of www.GoogleMonitor.com & www.Googleopoly.net)
Mitch Rubin (Global Head, Music Publishing Business Affairs, Smart Devices/Entertainment)
READ THE FULL POST AT MUSIC INTELLIGENTSIA:
FROM ARTIST & ECR MUSIC GROUP FOUNDER BLAKE MORGAN:
BOWING TO PUBLIC PRESSURE, INTERNET RADIO GIANT ABANDONS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD LOWER MUSIC ROYALTIES
If you spoke up about this, if you posted about it on Facebook or Tweeted about it to your friends, if you added your voice to the courageous chorus who stood up and spoke out, you helped win this fight.
This victory belongs to you.
Onward. Yours, in music…
READ THE FULL POST FROM BLAKE MORGAN HERE:
Shannan Ferry interviews ECR Music Group owner Blake Morgan on his music career and Pandora royalties.
Watch the Full Interview at Fox News:
Guest post by Blake Morgan (copyright in the author)
Relativity Media and Google asked if I’d sit down and talk about my life in music, my new record, and the current battle being waged between musicians and Pandora that’s been garnering so many headlines. It was a terrific conversation that lasted almost two hours. Of course the piece they were looking to do was only going to be around five to eight minutes, and in the end it still turned out to be over 10 minutes long. But, there were a couple of points I felt were important beyond what was kept for the piece that I’d like to briefly underline here.
The first is that as big as the battle with Pandora is, the battle musicians are now saddled up for across the board is even bigger. Calling out Pandora on its unscrupulous double-talk to Congress and Wall Street, and fighting to get them to change their behavior is necessary and righteous. And I’m optimistic that in the long run that battle will get won. But we also have to keep our eyes on the prize: ending ad-funded piracy.
As long as the music world is bleeding revenue from the theft of our music (which in turn is sponsored by giant corporations that place ads right on the illegal download pages), the real problem won’t get solved. Our work, and our livelihoods will continue to be stolen right out from under us. Again, I’m optimistic, and I trust that we can focus on more than one righteous battle at a time. Both the important smaller one, and the over-reaching larger one.
Second, I wanted to just underline a whiff of good news in all this that I’ve been noticing. For the first time in this struggle, I’m seeing music lovers join music makers in our outrage. I’m getting letters and emails, messages, and tweets from music-loving people who are raising their own voices and saying, “I’m with you! I really understand this now…we want to get the music that matters to us, and we want you to get paid fairly.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me this, and it’s in stark contrast to what I’ve heard over the last ten years.
So I’m not hopeful in a vacuum…I believe the consciousness is changing, and that there’s a great foundation to build on. There’s so much work to do, and little time to do it if we’re going to save the young musicians out there who are hoping in turn to be musicians as their profession.
You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time.
Let’s win these fights. Let’s get to work.
Perhaps 2013 will be the year that we see as the tipping point in artists rights advocacy for an ethical and sustainable internet. There have been more artists speaking up vocally this year than we can remember over the last decade. The hangover from an excess of hope that the internet would empower musicians has begun to set in as the evidence of more, and worse exploitation becomes increasingly obvious every day.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke noted his realization about Google and other big tech companies.
“[Big Tech] have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want?
“We were so into the net around the time of Kid A,” he says. “Really thought it might be an amazing way of connecting and communicating. And then very quickly we started having meetings where people started talking about what we did as ‘content’. They would show us letters from big media companies offering us millions in some mobile phone deal or whatever it was, and they would say all they need is some content. I was like, what is this ‘content’ which you describe? Just a filling of time and space with stuff, emotion, so you can sell it?”
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has also been outspoken this year commenting first on streaming services, and then later on the value of music.
“I know that what we’re doing flies in the face of the Kickstarter Amanda-Palmer-Start-a-Revolution thing, which is fine for her, but I’m not super-comfortable with the idea of Ziggy Stardust shaking his cup for scraps. I’m not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I’m saying my personal feeling is that my album’s not a dime. It’s not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go fuck yourself.”
Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains refused to play new songs in the bands live set until the new album is released to protect the integrity of the bands work.
“Well, in the old days – if you start out with ‘in the old days,’ you’re totally an old f–k – you were able to play a lot more stuff live,” Cantrell tells Spin magazine. “But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can’t do that anymore. We really haven’t been playing anything off the new record that’s not out yet. We’ve been playing ‘Hollow‘ and ‘Stone,’ and now that it’s going to be released, we’re thinking about whipping out ‘Phantom Limb‘ and maybe a few more.”
Quincy Jones discussed his legacy and the challenges presented for new artists in an environment of unprecedented piracy.
What’s sad is that there is 98 percent music piracy everywhere on the planet. It’s just terrible. What if these kids (who download music illegally) worked for me for two months and then I said, “I’m not going to pay you.” That’s just not right.
Aimee Mann brought a lawsuit against a digital distributor.
Guy Marchais of the band Suffocation showed fans how to buy a CD and explained the importance of supporting artists with legal purchases.
Marc Ribot of Ceramic Dog (and sideman for Tom Waits) took up the battle against Ad Funded Piracy.
We don’t know what the ultimate solution is — but we know it isn’t the impoverishment of musicians and defunding music. And we know it isn’t pretending that no-one is being hurt. Corporations are making huge profits from the ads on ‘free’ sites, from selling the hard and software that make illegal downloading possible.
Austin band Quiet Company noted their disappointment after an internet marketing partnership experiment.
““After everything, I’m not sure there is a new model. The old model is still the model, it’s just that the Internet made it way worse.”
East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys noted who is making money and who is not at SF Music Tech.
“There’s opportunists on the Internet that have taken advantage of the artists, [they’re] giving a free ride on a carnival horse, but they’re starving the horse.”
Zoe Keating spoke to the NY Times about how artists in certain genre’s such as classic and jazz maybe condemmed to poverty in the new digital economy without better mechanisms in place.
“In certain types of music, like classical or jazz, we are condemning them to poverty if this is going to be the only way people consume music.”
Blake Morgan went public with an email exchange between him and Tim Westergren over Pandora’s attempts to reduced already low royalties to artists.
I hear you when you say you’re “seeking a balanced structure that allows musicians to generously participate in the business.” But respectfully –– and this is quite important –– musicians are what your business is built on.
Without us, you don’t have a business.
Victoria Aitken wrote about the effects of piracy on EDM artists.
“The Internet pirates have made me, and thousands of other musicians, walk the plank. We now have to swim in shark-infested waters where the big fish gobble up our dues and the pirates laugh their way to the bank.
I believe this basic injustice must be remedied – Internet pirates are white-collar criminals. They should pay the royalties they have stolen or be answerable to the law, like looters, burglars, and fraudsters.”
Pink Floyd expressed their feelings about Pandora and digital royalty rates for the next generation of musicians.
It’s a matter of principle for us. We hope that many online and mobile music services can give fans and artists the music they want, when they want it, at price points that work. But those same services should fairly pay the artists and creators who make the music at the core of their businesses.
Martha Reeves also explained the importance to continue to work towards fair royalties for artists in the new digital economy.
Musicians should be paid a fair value for their work and all digital services should play by the same rules. These are just common sense ideas, and once Congress adopts them as law, future generations will wonder why we ever struggled over them. But that’s why we must keep struggling – until justice is done.
Shawn Drover drummer for Megadeth responded to a question asking if the band had been effected by piracy.
Of course it is. We are certainly thrilled to have a #6 record on Billboard in America and #4 in Canada, but sales are way down for the entire music industry right across the board, which is a real drag. Internet piracy, torrent sites and all that are the reason why. Concert attendance for us is still great around the world, so we are definitely happy about that.
Songwriter, Musician and Label owner Blake Morgan gained national attention through his email correspondence with Tim Westergren regarding Pandora’s attempt to manipulate musicians into signing a letter that would reduce their own royalty payments. Blake returns with a new editorial in the Huffington Post.
Instead of lobbying Congress (as you have) to lower Pandora’s rates, honor the rates Pandora, artists, and labels agreed upon together for Internet radio hand-in-hand with Congress in 2009. It’s an agreement artists went into with you in good faith, that already dramatically lowered the rates Pandora had to pay. It’s an agreement Mr. Westergren himself applauded at the time, famously and happily announcing on his own blog, “the royalty crisis is over!” It was also an agreement we were all supposed to continue honoring together, until 2015.
Instead of taking provocative action and purchasing a tiny radio station in the country’s 255th largest market (as you just did in an attempt to qualify as a terrestrial radio company and not have to pay a performer royalty), take different, provocative action. Stand with music lovers and music makers in reasonably and rationally arguing that terrestrial radio has never paid its fair share, and it’s time it did. And then to show you mean it, sell that station.
READ THE FULL EDITORIAL HERE AT THE HUFFINGTON POST: