Apple Debuts Unprotected Songs Online
Apple begins selling DRM-free songs from EMI on Itunes; songs downloaded from iTunes will play on other digital music players for the first time. by May Wong, Associated Press, May 31, 2007
Amazon Store to Sell Music Free of Copy Protection
Amazon.com plans to launch a digital music store later this year. Their MP3-only strategy, says founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, "means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device." Billboard.biz, May 16, 2007read more
About 170 people turned out for the “Music, Technology and IP Policy Day” on Wednesday making it a great event in our estimation (if not always the most comfortable — sorry to the people that had to stand for some of the panels). Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Penn., opened the conference with an unusual shout out for smash up artist Girl Talk. He then proceeded to give a wide ranging speech covering net neutrality, media consolidation. He got a round of applause after making the following comment: read more
The FCC has just announced a new window to apply for non-commercial educational radio (NCE) permits. To cut through the bureaucratic jargon, an NCE station is one that has a mission to educate on a particular topic. That includes non-profits, arts organizations and the like. read more
Clear Channel has cornered the market on the nation’s radio stations, but it won’t be able to extend that domination to digital recordings for live concerts. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has stripped Clear Channel of a patent it had held on a system for creating digital recordings for live performances.
The move was announced last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which staged a campaign to overturn the patent. Clear Channel claimed the patent gave it a monopoly on all-in-one, digital post-concert recordings, and the company threatened to sue anyone that made such recordings, according to EFF. read more
FMC released a study last year called “False Premises, False Promises” that quantified the destructive impact consolidation had on the radio industry. The report has been quoted at length in the media, but here are a few salient points:
The “localness” of radio ownership — ownership by individuals living in the community — has declined between 1975 and 2005 by almost one-third.
Just fifteen formats make up three-quarters of all commercial programming. Moreover, radio formats with different names can overlap up to 80% in terms of the songs played on them. read more
Future of Music Coalition fully supports the digital performance royalty but we reiterate the position that we’ve held since the first round of webcast rate-setting in 2002: we will not support "one size fits all" rates and processes that will not let small and noncommercial webcasters survive. read more
The consent decree reportedly agreed upon today by the FCC will be an important step toward opening up commercial radio to music released by independent labels and local bands. Beyond the reported enhanced enforcement provisions that are said to be part of the consent decree itself, Future of Music Coalition is pleased that the broadcast industry has voluntary adopted the “Rules of Engagement” — basic guidelines that spell out how independent labels and commercial broadcasters can work together in the future. read more
On January 16, 2007, FMC filed reply comments in the FCC’s quandrennial media ownership proceeding that questioned the arguments for further deregulation presented primarily by the NAB and Clear Channel in their comments. FMC also submitted our December 2006 report False Premises, False Promises: A History of Ownership Consolidation in the Radio Industry in the record.
Payola has been the radio and music industry’s dirty secret for decades. While the Federal Communications Commission avoided taking action on payola, leaders like Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Senator Russ Feingold and then-New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer pushed for progress.
Now, the FCC is reported to be on the brink of pushing through a negotiated consent decree with the broadcast industry. This consent decree could bring to an end the broad investigation that the FCC announced in the aftermath of the Spitzer investigation.
Future of Music Coalition strongly believes that any successful settlement must have three components: read more