by Kevin Erickson, Communications & Outreach Manager
Max Weber once described politics as “the slow boring of hard boards”; those with less patience for poetry might just call it slow, boring, and hard.
Nonetheless, I’ve found that the music community is actually uniquely equipped with the kind of long-game thinking that it takes to make substantive policy changes. That’s because there’s a basic structural similarity between the kind of slow and steady work it takes to hone your craft as a composer or performer over many years, keeping your eyes on what opportunities and challenges lie around the corner while working to address your present needs, and the slow and steady process of building movements for justice. Making an impact in either policy or music often requires the same kind of passion and perspective.
Today brings news of a new coalition that has come together to advance specific perspectives around music licensing reform. The MIC Coalition is comprised of such companies and organizations as Amazon, NPR, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Hotel and Lodging Association, Google, the National Restaurant Association, Pandora, Digital Media Association, the Consumer Electronics Association, iHeartMedia and others. read more
WASHINGTON, DC— Today, Comcast officially confirmed its decision to walk away from its 45-billion dollar deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. This merger was widely criticized by creators and consumers alike, and had previously been greeted with skepticism by the USDepartment of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). read more
[UPDATE: Numerous media outlets—including the New York Times—are now reporting that Comcast is walking away from its 45 billion dollar plan to acquire Time Warner Cable.]
Cable giant Comcast seemingly has it all: ownership of a major content studio (NBC Universal), the biggest slice of the cable and broadband market and an army of lobbyists and lawyers ready to press their advantage at the state and federal level.
But sometimes even MegaComcast has a bad week. read more
February 13, 2015 marked another milestone for free expression and compeition online, as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new rules on net neutrality were officially published in the Federal Register, after being adopted in a 3/2 vote by the FCC on February 26. Despite widespread public support for these policies including countless musicians and a strong majority of the 4 million comments submitted, net neutrality opponents in congress haven’t given up without a fight, with ISPs introducing lawsuits in the courts and some in congress introucing measures to slow or block the new rules, resulting in the five grueling congressional hearings at which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler delivered a forceful defense of his proposed rules.
The most recent attempt to stop net neutrality also landed on April 13, as Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced a new resolution in the house, calling for an expedited review of the FCC’s recently proposed net neutrality rules. In effect, the resolution seeks to enact a fast-tract repeal the FCC’s proposed rule—known now as the Open Internet Order—which requires internet service providers (ISPs) to afford consumers open and accessible networks, free from content-based discrimination, and reclassifies broadband internet service under a “common carrier” framework. These rules, based in Title II of the Communications Act, are important for all musicians and independent labels alike who rely on the internet as a level playing field to reach audiences and promote their work.
On Monday, April 13, Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN.), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI.), and Ted Deutch (D-FL.) introduced the Fair Play Fair Pay Act of 2015—a bill that, if passed, would accomplish a handful of things. The centerpiece of the legislation is the establishment of a public performance right for AM/FM radio. This would mean that performers and labels would be able to receive compensation for terrestrial radio airplay, a right that already exists in the rest of the developed world. read more
When you read about music industry issues in the news, does it feel like it’s connected to your life? Do you see yourself reflected or hear your concerns included? These questions were on my mind most recently last week, as rapper Jay Z was joined by a crowded stage of pop superstars to roll out the music streaming service Tidal. It’s something I think about every time a big music news story bubbles up. read more
Rumors are flying around about the US Department of Justice (DOJ) potentially changing the rules that govern how performing rights organizations (PROs) ASCAP and BMI negotiate, collect and distribute publisher and songwriter royalties. read more
With the summer concert season not far away, event promoters and music fans alike face a growing challenge—the state of online ticket sales for live events. Fans are increasingly boxed out when tickets go on sale, and venues will often sell out to audiences that paid much more than the original price because they were forced to buy their tickets on the secondary market, through sites like StubHub or Craigslist. Essentially, it seems harder and harder for fans to access face-value tickets for certain types of events.read more