On July 15, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing for Federal Communication Commission (FCC) nominees Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Atwell Baker. President Obama nominated Clyburn and Baker to fill two vacant FCC Commissioner positions. The FCC has five Commissioners, only three of which can be from the same political party; the party of the current administration constitutes the majority. Clyburn, a Democrat, and Baker, a Republican, will be replacing outgoing Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Debi Tate, respectively. (Later in the week, the Senate confirmed Clyburn and Atwell.)
On June 11, 2009, the House Subcommittee for Communications, Technology and the Internet held a hearing on the Local Community Radio Act of 2009. This bill is designed to lift the minimum distance requirements imposed by the Radio Broadcast Preservation Act and allow LPFM stations to exist on “third-adjacent channels,” or channels three clicks away from full-power stations on the dial. Congress imposed this restriction in response to fears that an LPFM’s 100 watt-or-less signal would interfere with a full-power station’s 20,000 watt signal. This is a bit like being worried that a flashlight will steal brightness from an industrial-grade spotlight. read more
Legitimate digital business models and legitimate digital music marketplaces are critical to musicians’ ability to promote, distribute and earn compensation for their music. Recently, a number of new models have been proposed that would compensate copyright owners through indirect means: shares of ad revenue, fees on physical devices or broadband access, or equity stakes in a company, for example. We encourage such talks and experimentation. However, the needs of those who actually create the music — the performers and songwriters — cannot be overlooked in any discussions between corporate content owners and the businesses that use the music.
FMC believes that any new business models should embrace the following principles: read more
Legitimate digital business models and legitimate digital music marketplaces are critical to musicians’ ability to promote, distribute and earn compensation for their music. This document translates the Principles for Artist Compensation in New Business Models.
Legitimate digital business models and legitimate digital music marketplaces are critical to musicians’ ability to promote, distribute and earn compensation for their music. read more
Concert ticket giant Ticketmaster and the world’s largest concert promoter, Live Nation have proposed a merger that would see many music industry services — ticketing, promotion, venues and artist representation — combined in one company. On February 24, 2009, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the matter that included representatives from both Ticketmaster and Live Nation, as well as the independent promotions/ticketing and public interest sectors. The House Judiciary Committee took up the issue on February 26, 2009. In the interest of providing a balanced look at the possible pros and cons of the proposal, FMC solicited statements from experts on both sides of the debate, which are included here. read more
Who gets paid when “Respect” is played on terrestrial radio? You might think it’s Aretha Franklin, the artist whose soulfully commanding vocal made it one of the most indelible tunes of any era. Nope. Since the late Otis Redding wrote the song, his estate gets the spoils (as does his publisher). While no one would deny Otis his due, Aretha’s performance is a huge part of that recording’s success. Her contribution is recognized by satellite radio and webcasters, who pay a royalty to Aretha and her label when the tune is broadcast. Terrestrial radio, however, fails to compensate her. read more
Hip-hop has always been about getting the word out, by any means necessary. In the past this meant dealing with all kinds of intermediaries â€” those gatekeepers at major labels, radio stations, video outlets and magazines who decide which talent rises from the streets to the mainstream. With the Internet, todayâ€™s hip-hop artists are taking the hustle into their own hands, finding new ways to connect their words and rhymes with potential audiences without interference or censorship.
This way of digital life might not last forever. Powerful companies that provide your Internet hookup (Internet Service Providers, or ISPs) are looking to alter the fundamental way the web works, by deciding the wheres, whos and hows of information exchange.Thatâ€™s why public interest groups, technology experts, innovators and creative types are fighting to preserve net neutrality â€” the principle that protects the open internet.
In this article, hip-hop journalist Eric Arnold reports on net neutrality’s effect on the hip-hop community. read more
In the fall of 2007, the Federal Communications Commission presented a rare opportunity to revitalize local radio in communities across the country. For one week in October, nonprofit groups could apply to the Commission for full-power FM radio stations. FMC identified the more than 200 organizations that could benefit from having a full-power radio station. Along with Radio for People coalition, FMC worked to ease a process that would otherwise be daunting, connecting applicants with lawyers and engineers and guiding them through each step of the process. “In particular, we zeroed in on groups that would bring new and diverse music programming to the air,” says Cook.
Through conversations with various applicants — from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to a transmission arts collective in upstate New York — this article explains the opportunity that this full-power window represents and how FMC helped creative communities organize and engage in the process. read more
Let’s cut to the chase: urban radio sucks. You know it, artists know it, and programmers know it too. It offers little room for creative programming, tends to favor established artists at the expense of new voices, and kills any halfway-decent song that does manage to land in rotation by playing it as much as three times an hour. Most of all, urban radio sucks because it rarely meets the needs of the local community from which its listeners are drawn. read more