Yesterday, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante testified before a House subcommittee on potential updates to the Copyright Act. As we mentioned in a previous post, the Act hasn’t been completely overhauled since 1976, though it did receive an addition in the form of the 1996 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) — which, in “internet time,” to borrow a Pallante-ism, was also quite a while ago.
(You can read Pallante’s written testimony here and watch the archived video here.)
Overall, we thought Pallante did an admirable job of describing the many varied interests in American copyright. We fundamentally agree with her assertion that, when it comes to copyright, creators and the public interest are not (or shouldn’t be) at odds. It’s crucial that on on the road to “the next great copyright act” we forefront the needs of creators and not just those of the big media companies. To parapharase Pallante, this is the best way to get the public to show true respect for an engine of American expression and commerce.
On Monday March 4th, US Register of Copyrights MariaPallantedelivered a speech at Columbia Law School entitled “The Next Great Copyright Act.” Her remarks drew immediate attention within the creative communities and beyond — after all, it’s not every day that the nation’s top official on copyright calls for Congress to overhaul existing law.
We were deeply saddened to learn that Jason Molina, the acclaimed songwriter behind Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company, passed away Saturday after a long battle with alcoholism.
Molina leaves behind a vast and diverse body of work, bridging gospel, folk, and southern rock influences, anchored on his impressionistic, haunting imagery and arresting voice. We extend our sympathies and condolences to his family, friends, bandmates, and associates at Secretly Canadian. read more
Music publishing is perhaps the most complex and little understood sectors in the music business. Most folks grasp that record labels own so-called “master recordings,” but many don’t realize there’s a whole ‘nother copyright in music. read more
Future of Music Coalition is well-represented this week in Austin at the annual SXSW Music Conference. Of particular note:
Michael Bracy will be hosting an official panel called “Navigating Washington in 2013” featuring FCC Commisioner Jessica Rosenworcel. The panel takes place at 5 pm on Wednesday. This is an exciting opportunity for SXSW attendees to connect with influential policymakers and get an inside view of how the policies that impact musicians are made.
Jean Cook will join Brian Zisk as a panelist on the topic of “Fair Play: Music Startups and Artists” on Tuesday at 5.
We’ll also be helping Brown Paper Tickets kick off their “Make Radio Challenge” with tacos, bloody marys, and some amazing artists and activists talking about the awesome opportunities offered by Low Power FM, starting at 11 AM on Tuesday.
And if you’d like to just meet up with FMC staff for drinks, Michael Bracy & Jean Cook will be hanging out at Ginger Man Thursday evening (with music curated by Jon Langford). Read on for the full schedule of appearances by FMC Staff, Board, and Advisory Board members!
This post authored by FMC communications intern Olivia Brown
Metadata. Sounds like a android with irony issues. But it’s actually important to musicians and composers.
So what is it? Metadata is information that lives with every file on your computer. Through a mix of words and numbers, metadata describes files so that they can be managed by both the user and the system. In the case of a music file, metadata refers to the tags associated with a particular piece of music — such as the artist, album name, year of release, etc. These tags are definitely useful for the listener in keeping track of a digital collection. For artists, it’s about tracking for downloads and plays, which can ensure timely and accurate compensation.
Unfortunately, not all systems to organize metadata are created equal. Non-rock artists, especially jazz and classical musicians, have borne the brunt of some of the most poorly organized metadata out there. This is largely because the new business models are often developed with only popular music in mind.
Yesterday (Feb 26, 2013), the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released its 2013 Digital Music Report, noting that the music industry’s global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999. read more
[Post authored by Olivia Brown, Communications Associate]
Over the years, the major labels have their fair share of critics; FMC has certainly been among them. You’ve probably heard the stories: artists arguing with their labels over issues of creative control, withheld royalty payments, shady accounting practices, payola, anticompetive activity and other shenanigans that rankle musicians and fans alike. These problems are well documented and still occur. This has resulted in a well-perpetuated meme that circles: that labels can do no right. And unfortunately, this narrative has become so fashionable that it’s frequently advanced at the expense of factual accuracy.
Take, for instance, the recent story about YouTube’s massive cuts to the view counts on both Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group’s channels. The majority of the press coverage following SocialBlade’s initial report on the 2 billion view count cut jumped to the conclusion that Sony and Universal had artificially inflated their numbers… because that’s what a good-for-nothing company would do, right?
[Post authored by FMC Communications Intern Olivia Brown]
Though the freezing temperatures might have you feeling otherwise, summer will be here before you know it. Are you looking for a summer internship in Washington, DC? Do you have an interest in music, technology, policy, advocacy, or better yet, all of the above? Then FMC has some open internship positions that might be just what you’re looking for!
After two semesters as a Communications intern here, I can assure you that if you’re looking to broaden your knowledge of issues at the intersection of music, technology and policy while advocating for musicians’ interests, you can’t go wrong with an internship at FMC. Would I still be here after two semesters otherwise? Take a look at the listings below to see how you could get involved this summer or fall: