As part of our mission to make sure that artists' and musicians' voices are not left out of the policy debate, FMC regularly prepares and submits public comments, documents, and testimony to the appropriate rulemaking bodies. In these documents, the FMC strives to inject the debate with information about how policies can affect artists and the public at large.
Review of Antitrust Consent Decrees for American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers / Broadcast Music, Inc.
FMC is pleased to submit the following comments to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division regarding the agency’s review of the Antitrust Consent Decrees for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).
Moreover, FMC appreciates the opportunity to address the persistent issues songwriters and independent music publishers face under the Consent Decrees, particularly a lack of transparency and failure to balance interests in the licensing of musical works for public performance, as well as barriers of entry for independent songwriters, publishers, and music platforms.
FMC commends the DOJ for reviewing the Consent Decrees and also commends the agency’s commitment to maintaining healthy competition within the licensing of musical works for public performance. Despite some differences with ASCAP, BMI, and the major consolidated music publishers, we are encouraged that many in this space have expressed their desire to nurture songwriters and expand transparency. We see the DOJ’s review of the Antitrust Consent Decrees as an important opportunity to highlight issues with consolidation of the music industry, the need for fair compensation and stronger protections for songwriters, as well as the importance of ASCAP and BMI to a functional music industry that serves the needs of creators.
FMC’s comments will address the specific questions raised by the DOJ in soliciting public comment for the review.
FMC explains why the FCC's current proposal offers insufficient protection for network neutrality
On July 15, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments ; reply comments will be due in mid-September.
Casey Rae appears before Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
The following written testimony was submitted to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and The Internet, in advance of VP for Policy and Education Casey Rae’s appearance on July 15, 2014.
Artists Call For Title II Reclassification To Prevent Discrimination Online
On July 15, 2014, a consortium of musicians submitted the following joint comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments or email openinternet [at] fcc [dot] gov; reply comments will be due September 10. Participating musicians included:
Laura Ballance, bass player/ song writer for Superchunk, label owner, Merge Records
Charles Bissell, The Wrens
Rebecca Gates, musician/composer/producer
Merrill Garbus, tUnE-yArDs
Jim James, My Morning Jacket
Cheston Knapp, writer/editor
Sean Meadows, Everlasting the Way
Brett Lyman, co-owner of M’lady’s Records, Machu Picchu Records, and musician (Chain & the Gang, Hive Dwellers)
Neal Morgan, drummer/arranger
Thao Nguyen, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Alec Ounsworth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Jeff Parker, (guitarist/composer/jazz musician/member of Tortoise)
Tony Perez, Editor, Tin House Books
Martín Perna (saxophone- Antibalas, Daptone Super Soul Revue)
Nate Query, bassist, The Decemberists, Black Prairie
John Strohm, musician and attorney
Laura Veirs, singer-songwriter
Michael Wells, Dir. of Ops & Digital Light @ In The Attic Records, bassist for The Walkabouts
Groups Call for the Strongest Rules Possible to Prevent ISPs from Picking Winners And Losers Online
On July 15, 2014, a consortium of national arts and culture organizations submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments ; reply comments will be due September 10. Participating organizations included:
Americans for the Arts
American Community Television
American Composers Forum
Association of American Arts Presenters
Chamber Music America
Future of Music Coalition
League of American Orchestras
Independent Film & Television Alliance
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture
National Alliance for Musical Theatre
National Performance Network
Network of Ensemble Theaters
New Music USA
Performing Arts Alliance
Theater Communications Group
Writers Guild of America West
Submitted in the Music Licensing Under Title 17, Part One and Two hearing
Future of Music Coalition submitted the following testimony in June 10 and June 25, 2014 House Judiciary subcommittee hearings on “Music Licensing Under Title 17, Part One and Two.” As Congress reviews existing copyright law, we recommend that it consider the needs of creators alongside the goal of expanding the legitimate digital marketplace.
Copyright Office sought stakeholder input on the state of music licensing in America
Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments to the United States Copyright Office in its Notice of Inquiry on the Music Licensing Study. We examine the state of music licensing in America, and how the current regime impacts musicians, songwriters and independent labels.
Musicians and other creators send message to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler demanding meaningful rules to preserve Internet openness and accessibility
FMC reiterates importance of access and innovation for musicians and other creators
On March 21 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s latest public docket to preserve a level online playing field.
Examining the DMCA's "safe harbors" and notice-and-takedown requirements
On March 13, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet to coincide with a hearing on Section 512 Title 17 of the US Copyright Code. This section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) governs how internet companies respond to instances of copyright infringement committed by their users.
On January 28, 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet in its hearing on “The Scope of Fair Use.”
FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Comments address issues related to copyright, creativity and the internet
Future of Music Coalition filed the following comments with the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) in an inquiry related to a previously published “green paper” from the Internet Policy Taks Force (a joint effort also including the United States Copyright Office and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration).
FMC Testimony in House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Future of Music Coalition submitted the following written testimony in the House Subcommitee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet’s hearing on “The Role of Voluntary Agreements in the US Intellectual Property System.”
FMC respects the process of multi-stakeholder engagement to identify shared solutions to persistent issues around protecting copyright and other forms of intellectual property online, but stresses that oversight, transparency and the inclusion of the independent music sector in the process is crucial to the success of these initiatives.
Agency Seeks Comment on Adopting Egregious Cases Policy
In June 2012, the Supreme Court decided in FCC v. Fox that the FCC’s indecency policy was too vague and violated broadcasters’ due process rights by not providing “fair notice” of clear rules. FMC and the Center For Creative Voices in Media filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the FCC regulation was applied so arbitrarily that it chills creative expression. Now, a year later, we — along with the rest of the interested public — have the opportunity to tell the FCC what we think their indecency policy should be. The following are comments submitted to the FCC in their rulemaking proceedings.
Future of Music Coalition Testimony to House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet
Submitted for "A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project" hearing
On Thursday, May 16, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy and the Internet held a hearing entitled “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.”
FMC’s written testimony, which was submitted to the Committee for the official record, makes the basic point that creators must be included in future hearings, as their perspectives will help inform any apparaisal of the impact of existing (or proposed) rules. We also examine specific issues that we believe the Committee should examine in the course of its review of current copyright law.
On March 6, 2013, Future of Music Coalition submitted reply comments to the United States Copyright Office Notice of Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization. All reply comments can be viewed here.
In Response to CO Inquiry Concerning Orphan Works and Mass Digitization
Future of Music Coalition filed comments with the United States Copyright Office in its inquiry around Orphan Works — works whose owners are hard or impossible to identify or locate. Orphan works exist in a purgatory of sorts, not able to be used in new creative efforts or made available to the public due to uncertainty over the status of their ownership.
In our comments, FMC describes ways in which authors and copyright owners can be eligible for limited remedies if an orphaned work is used without prior permission. We seek to strike a balance between new users, the public and the creator and rightsholder community, by offering concrete solutions to a problem that has bedeviled policymakers for more than a decade.
House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition Policy, and The Internet
Executive Office Seeks Public Input on Updating Nation's IP Enforcement Agenda
The Federal Government is starting the process of developing a new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. By committing to common goals, the U.S. Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the U.S. Government, through the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), invited public input and participation in shaping the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy.
Future of Music Coalition’s comments highlight the importance of oversight and data assessment within existing enforcement policies, the need for consultation with a broader set of stakeholders and a proactive approach to licensing as a means to address persistent issues in the digital music ecosystem.