Separately, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate called Russell’s claim “essentially correct.” Kevin Erickson of the Future of Music Coalition, a nonprofit that says it supports a “musical ecosystem where artists flourish and are compensated fairly and transparently for their work,” added by email: “For a variety of reasons, it can be difficult to get complete information on which countries pay for the performance right. Iran and North Korea do not currently pay. China is a bit more ambiguous right now; there may have been a deal struck. We’ve also gotten some conflicting information on Afghanistan and Rwanda.” read more
For balance, here’s the Future of Music Coalition, which is quoted in the piece, taking issue with some of the details. “If you want to know how musicians are faring,” the collective writes, “you have to ask musicians. You’ll get different answers from different musicians, and they’ll all be correct in terms of their own experiences. But your overall understanding will better reflect the complexity of the landscape.”
If you had told me ten years ago that in 2015, new releases by the world’s biggest artists would be issued on vinyl, and that chain stores—and not just boutique record shops—would stock them, I would’ve called you crazy. read more
Independent labels and artists had something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
In a November 25, 2015 ruling, the U.S. Copyright Office made it clear that webcasting royalty rates for the period covering 2016-2020 would treat major and independent record labels the same, as has been the case since the the establishment of a public performance right for digital transmission of sound recordings. Last week’s decision, handed down by Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante, is a response to the Copyright Royalty Board’s (CRB) question about whether the federal statute that provides for rate-setting (17 U.S. Code § 114) would permit different rates for majors and indies.
Once the Beatles do accept streaming — well, if they do — it could mark a point of no return for a record industry still not totally convinced of streaming as its future. “It could signal to consumers that the format shift is complete,” says Casey Rae, CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group.
On November 20, 2015, Future of Music Coalition filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division in their request for comments on the matter of “fractional licensing” of musical works for public performance. This inquiry is part of the DOJ’s examination of the ASCAP / BMI consent decrees, which could result in a change to the rules that govern how songs are licensed to all forms of radio.
Chief, Litigation III Section
U.S. Department of Justice
450 5th Street NW, Suite 4000
Washington, DC 20001
To David C. Kully, Chief, Litigation III Section:
Future of Music Coalition (FMC) appreciates the opportunity to submit the following comments regarding the Antitrust Consent Decrees for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). Our views on the issue of 100 percent licensing are informed by consultation with the vocational songwriters, performing songwriters and independent publishers who comprise our community. read more
According to Billboard magazine, “25” is expected to sell more than 1 million units in North America in its first week, and will very likely be the biggest album release of 2015.
Casey Rae, chief executive of Future of Music Coalition, told the New York Times that Adele’s decision to withhold the new album on streaming for a certain period of time was sending a “strong signal to other artists.” However, in reality not all artists are able to make those same choices, he added.
by Kelsey Butterworth, Policy Intern and Kevin Erickson, Communications & Outreach Manager
As of November 1, enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) is once again open, which means it’s a counterintuitively exciting time to be an artist without medical insurance. The ACA does what its name implies, and for musicians lacking coverage, it can be a critical step in leading a long and productive life. read more
Panelists at the Future of Music Policy Summit’s “Cracking the Streaming Code” explained that the current pro-rata model incentivizes clicks, which favors big-name artists rather than those with a smaller but devoted fan base. The pro-rata system counts the total number of clicks in a given period, then divides the subscriber fees proportionately based on artists’ total clicks. If a subscriber pays $10 per month to use a streaming service and exclusively listens to a non-mainstream band, most of that money goes to other artists that get more clicks.
Apple and Google have both launched paid platforms for music streaming, which allows unlimited, on-demand selection of songs online.
“If Adele decides to not have her music on streaming for a certain period of time, that is going to send a strong signal to other artists”, said Casey Rae, chief executive of the Future of Music Coalition, an artists’ advocacy group. The 30-second format helps ensure that users don’t get bored with the songs, but it also has a nifty legal function: It sharply reduces royalty fees Facebook has to pay.