Post authored by FMC Communications Associate Kevin Erickson
Like many people, my first encounter with David Lowery was as a music fan. As a child of the 80s, I grew up hearing Cracker’s couple of commercial radio hits on my local rock station. Later, when I was gifted a shiny lime-green iMac the summer before I left for college, I started to use the internet as a music discovery tool. Lowery’s label Pitch-A-Tent was one of the earliest labels to offered free legal MP3 samples, and I would wait sometimes for hours on my dialup connection to check out a single song by artists like Lauren Hoffman and Bugs, as well as some Camper Van Beethoven classic hits.
Years later, it was his letter to Emily White, aka “that NPR intern” that positioned Lowery and his Trichordist blog at the center of digital music debates. At the very least, White’s infamous essay was honest, and gestured toward a growing awareness of the impact of her choices. On the other hand, it was still pretty tone-deaf and many artists felt it came off as entitled. Personally, the essay reminded me of certain kids I knew from my own college radio days–who would show up at the radio station with binders crammed full of burned CDs, music that they’d paid nothing for, generally oblivious to how those choices impacted the artists whose work they’d enjoyed. These DJs would be forced to endure a lecture from their station manager (me) about the challenging financial realities faced by working musicians and the importance of supporting creativity. Many of my non-musician peers seemed to buy into broad media narratives about the big bad music industry getting its supposedly well-deserved comeuppance while never considering the actual impact on artists themselves; meanwhile many of my musician friends found it increasingly difficult to carve out a sustainable living. (Which is, of course, what ultimately led me to work for FMC. I wanted to be part of the solution.)
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.”
Witnesses included Pamela Samuelson (University of California at Berkeley Law School); Jon Baumgarten (former General Counsel of the U.S. Copyright Office); Laura Gasaway (University of North Carolina Law School); Daniel Gervais (Vanderbilt Law School Intellectual Property Program); and Jule Sigall (Assistant General Counsel for Copyright at Microsoft). All of the panelists contributed to the Copyright Principles Project and its 2010 report [PDF].
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.
This post co-authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown
The big music biz news this week is all about the launch of Google’s new subscription streaming music service. But that’s not the only development in the world of streaming. Last week, at the annual NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) Convention, one of the first such services, Rhapsody, announced that it would be the first major digital music service to join the Recording Academy’s new “Give Fans The Credit” initiative. The campaign aims to make songwriter, performer, producer, and other credits widely available to digital music consumers at a time when physical media sales — along with liner notes — are on the wane.
There’s nothing more fun than a community of friends and fans coming together to celebrate the songs of a local boy done good while raising money for a great cause.
We at FMC were honored to be the beneficiaries of a sold-out rock show last Thursday May 9 at Deep South The Bar in Raleigh, North Carolina. The concert celebrated the release of Losering: The Songs of Ryan Adams by journalist and critic David Menconi. This award-winning book blends biography and criticism to tell the story of Adams’ musical journey through alt-country and beyond, and is rooted in the rich and fertile Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill music scene where Adams got started.
That community was out in full-force on Thursday as fourteen different acts covered their favorite songs from all eras of Adams’ long career. You can check out David’s play-by-play recap of the event at the book’s website.
It’s incredibly gratifying and humbling when artists and fans find creative ways to support our work and build a vibrant and equitable future for musicians. Our deepest thanks to all the performers, fans, and especially to author David Menconi and Dave Rose and John Booker of Deep South.
Among certain observers, it has become fashionable to contrast the “old model” and the “new model” of the music industry. This conjures up images of a dystopian analog past where the business was run by a bunch of cigar-smoking execs & predatory middlemen out to screw artists, and a utopian digital future where a leveled playing field will allow for artists and fans to join together in group sing-alongs while music flows like water. read more
(post authored by Communications Intern Olivia Brown)
Back in 2011, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) established that, starting in 2012, April 30 would be International Jazz Day. The day comes at the end of Jazz Appreciation Month , a music festival created by a curator at the Museum of American History. Established in 2001, the festival includes a slew of events across the District, country, and world.
We’re proud to endorse the Jazz Journalist Association’s Jazz April campaign to highlight these events and celebrate the unifying and diplomatic effect of jazz music across the globe. This year’s main event is set to be held in Istanbul and will be streamed online, and there are dozens more events from Albania to Zimbabwe.