[This post by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman and COO Chhaya Kapadia]
A major Supreme Court case was concluded today — and no, we’re not talking about the health care bill challenge. The Nine (actually eight in this case, with Justice Sotomayor recused) dropped its decision in FCC v. Fox, and, while it wasn’t quite the doozy it could’ve been, it does have real implications for artistic expression in American broadcast media.
Today’s ruling overturned FCC sanctions against broadcasters in several high profile cases, which notably involved F-bombs from Cher and Nicole Richie at the Billboard Music Awards and seven seconds of nudity in a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue.” read more
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
If you follow debates about music, technology and how artists earn a living, you probably caught this post from David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven; Cracker). Lowery’s lengthy missive was in response to a blog post by a 21 year-old NPR intern, Emily White, who talked about how she never really paid for music, but nonetheless has 11,000 songs in her iTunes library. read more
(This post authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox.)
Mucca Pazza is unique. Their name—meaning “crazy cow”— is unique. Their 30-something member “circus punk” marching band is unique. And their business structure, which works like a corporation and structures shares of the company around socks (you read that right, socks, not stocks) is certainly unique. 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.
[This post was authored by FMC Communications Intern Caroline Fox]
On Monday, May 7, President Obama appointed two new Commissioners to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is an independent agency of the U.S. government which oversees telecommunications, media (including broadcast radio) and other important sectors. In recent years, the Commission has sought to keep up with changing technology with regard to its regulatory policies (and not without controversy). read more
(This post was authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox)
On Monday, May 21, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear an appeal on one of the longest-running file-sharing cases in the recorded music industry. While their refusal to hear the case is not shocking, it does present an opportunity to examine the record industry’s historic response to unauthorized distribution, and the effectiveness of certain punitive responses. read more
This post was authored by FMC policy intern Joseph Silver.
Pending approval by the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission and other American and European antitrust regulators, the U.S-based record company Universal Music Group (UMG) intends to merge with the UK-based EMI Music Corporation to form one mega-label. Last November, UMG agreed to a $1.9 billion bid for EMI’s recorded music business. (A separate effort to acquire EMI’s profitable publishing division has been launched by Sony.) read more