Has technology leveled the playing field to a point that musicians can do it all themselves? And an even more critical question, should they try to do it themselves? What are the net effects of teammates and partnerships on musicians’ earning capacity? This article examines data collected through the Artist Revenue Streams project to better understand the impact – and tradeoffs – associated with musicians, income and teammates. […]
Washington, D.C .— Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has for several months raised questions about a proposed merger between Universal Music Group and EMI Music, which would have a negative impact on artists as well as the growth of a legitimate digital music marketplace that rewards creators and fans alike.
News recently broke of an EMI proposal to European regulators that included divestitures and behavioral remedies meant to alleviate concerns over market concentration and resultant consumer harms. These supposed palliatives, however, do nothing to address concerns over the merger’s impact on the U.S. market, including the impact on innovation and leverage within the independent sector.
The following statement can be attributed to FMC Deputy Director Casey Rae: read more
For decades, broadcasters have enjoyed an exemption that allows them to not pay performers and labels when they terrestrially broadcast music. This hardly makes sense, especially compared to digital services like Pandora or Sirius XM, which pay not only songwriters and composers, but also performers and sound copyright owners. This is why the recent deal struck between broadcasting behemoth Clear Channel and Big Machine Records to pay out for “terrestrial” spins seems so significant. read more
[This post authored by FMC Legal Intern Joseph Silver]
The first sale doctrine within American copyright and trademark law has been getting a lot of attention in recent months. A number of federal circuit courts have touched upon this important copyright principle, which says that when a consumer purchases a good on the legitimate marketplace, the law affords them the right to lend, resell and dispose of that item (along with a number of other related uses). However, the first sale doctrine, also known as the exhaustion doctrine, does not permit a purchaser to reproduce, publicly display or perform the work, all of which are exclusive rights held by the copyright holder. Absent a “fair use” defense for consumers, those rules are pretty steadfast. Still, the first sale doctrine is an important limitation on copyright, which allows consumers who have lawfully purchased copyrighted goods to choose how the particular copy they purchased is distributed. This much remains settled. Yet two issues have recently arisen that aren’t so cut-and-dry: whether the first sale doctrine applies to digital goods and whether it applies to goods manufactured internationally.
[Post authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox]
The New York Times recently published a short op-ed that explored one musician’s unsuccessful attempt at crowd fundraising for her album. Veteran recording artist Terre Roche signed up for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, popular crowdfunding platforms for creative projects. Roche and her new band were aiming to secure $21,000 in funding to produce their next album. Unlike some other success stories, however, this already established creator fell flat when it came to raising cash from fans for her project.
If you live in an area with a population larger than, say, twelve, you’ve likely run across someone wearing a pair of Beats headphones. And even if you haven’t, you may have stumbled across the marketing campaign, which includes prominent positioning in shows like “American Idol.” These “lifestyle” headphones (which are bass heavy and not all that great sounding) are the brainchild of superstar producer/label honcho Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop maestro Dr. Dre.
About once a month, we get an email from a researcher, journalist, policymaker, or student asking us a simple question: how many musicians are there in the United States? Given FMC’s work with musicians, it makes sense that they ask us, but our answer is the same for everyone:
there is no reliable way to measure the real size of the US musician population.
In a post last week on the Artist Revenue Streams site, we outlined the particular challanges associated with estimating the size of the musician population in the United States. read more
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
[This post was authored by FMC Policy Intern Joseph Silver & Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
Yesterday on Capitol Hill, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology rounded up some music industry bigwigs including Cary Sherman (CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America); Jeff Smulyan (CEO of Ennis Communications); Steven Newberry (CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting Corp.); Tim Westergren (Pandora founder); Christopher Gutttman-McCabe (Vice President of CTIA Wireless); Gary Shapiro (President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association); and a single artist: Ben Allison, a New York-based jazz bassist. The panel, the title of which the recently deceased Ray Bradbury might even admire — “The Future of Audio” — featured a broad discussion that touched upon music, mobile technology, radio signals, and last, but hopefully not least, artist compensation.