Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its intention to file suit to prevent the acquisition of T-Mobile by AT&T. The following statement can be attributed to Future of Music Coalition Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter.
“Future of Music Coalition applauds the Department of Justice for moving to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. We hope the FCC swiftly follows suit to preserve access and innovation in mobile communications. From competition in a crucial marketplace to jobs preservation, preventing this merger is the right thing to do. Creators and consumers alike should welcome today’s news, and we thank those in the music community for helping to illustrate what is at stake for artists and other creative entrepreneurs.” read more
Washington is known for encouraging and celebrating innovation. From the music scene that’s become a beacon to America and the world, to the state’s thriving technology sector, innovation is the driving force behind Washington’s economy and its music culture.
Here at FMC, we’re intrigued by the potential of “cloud music”— from mobile apps to remote storage lockers to sites and services that facilitate discovery and collaboration. When you look at recent developments, it seems that the future for digital music may be headed off of hard drives and into the cloud. When we say “intrigued,” we mean it: after all, we keep keepwritingaboutit. read more
Briefs describe how the proposed merger would negatively impact musicians and other creative entrepreneurs
Future of Music Coalition + Center for Media Justice
Monday, June 20, 2011
The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) — a grassroots media policy organization working to strengthen movements for racial justice, economic equity, and human rights — has teamed up with FMC — a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians — to issue a pair of informational briefs regarding the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
AT&T is currently seeking government approval to buy T-Mobile, which would give one company nearly half of the wireless market in the United States. The briefs describe the negative impact the merger would have on innovation, creativity and speech, while providing creative communities a way to better understand and engage on the issue. read more
On June 9, 2011,My Morning Jacket— who are celebrating the recent release of their latest album,Circuital — sent a letter to members of Congress’ Kentucky delegation sharing their thoughts on why noncommercial radio and an accessible, innovation-driven internet are so crucial to their band (and today’s music industry in general). Download aPDF below.
Dear Members of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation:
We are writing to you as members of My Morning Jacket and as proud citizens of Kentucky. As musicians, we are concerned about a number of issues that we, and other contributors to Kentucky’s artistic economy, are currently confronting. In order to continue producing original creative work, our community requires access to the Internet and a supportive broadcast media. We are concerned with recent Congressional activity around these crucial platforms and urge you to consider the impact of your decisions on the creative sector.
By way of introduction, we are a musical group formed in 1998 in Louisville, Kentucky. We released our first album the following year. In the ensuing years, our music has been featured in films and television and we have toured the world and played to crowds numbering in the tens of thousands. In May, we released our sixth full-length studio album,Circuital. We are happy to report we just learned the album debuted number 5 on the Billboard album charts. To celebrate the release, we have been playing a series of shows around the country and donating a portion of our ticket sales to local charities. We started as a small local band in Louisville and have grown into a successful small business that employs a dozens of people and allows us to tour and sell records throughout the world.
Our ability to build a fan base at home and abroad was — and still is — dependent to a large degree on the Internet. The Internet has changed how musicians connect to their listeners — from online stores, to streaming sites like Pandora and Rhapsody, to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. These are resources that help us reach our fans and sell our product so that we generate revenue for our employees and ourselves. These outlets are absolutely essential to us and to every working musician today.
Technology (and for that matter, the entire music business) is constantly evolving. We believe it is of paramount importance to preserve the Internet as an engine for creativity and commerce. We think there should be basic rules to ensure that there is a legitimate digital music marketplace for Kentucky’s musicians now and going forward. Open access to the web and its innovations is crucial to our band, our community and Kentucky’s future artists.
As helpful as Internet technologies are, we still also depend on traditional technologies like radio. In particular, public radio has been a champion of our band and many other Kentucky acts. Having our song played on public radio is essential to the growth of our band and business, and it is essential for thousands of artists that rely on the exposure generated byNPRand non-commercial radio stations. Eliminating funding for public broadcasting would be hugely damaging to working musicians, not to mention having a negative impact on local economies.
It is our belief that funding public broadcasting and maintaining open Internet access are two essential components in nourishing the vital music scene in the state of Kentucky.
As Kentuckians, musicians, and small business owners, we urge you to preserve the things that are most critical to our ability to make a living from our music: the Internet and non-commercial radio.
Bo Koster Carl Broemel
Last week, our friends in My Morning Jacket — who are celebrating the recent release of their latest album, Circuital — sent a letter to members of Congress’ Kentucky delegation sharing their thoughts on why noncommercial radio and an accessible, innovation-driven internet are crucial to their band (and today’s music scene in general). Read the letter below; download a PDFhere.
Dear Members of the Kentucky Congressional Delegation: read more
You may have heard about the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which would give the combined companies a 43 percent combined share of the mobile market. Were the deal to go through, AT&T and Verizon would control around 70 percent of the market for cell phone subscriptions. That’s a lot of power in not so many hands.
This merger is not just about phone service. Mobile handsets are fast becoming one of the main ways people connect to the internet, and this trend is only going to continue.
So why should musicians and music entrepreneurs care? Lots of reasons, actually. read more
Future of Music Coalition (FMC), a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians, strongly opposes a resolution set for a vote in the House of Representatives that would eliminate the FCC’s ability to preserve the internet as an open marketplace for creativity and commerce. read more