[This post authored by FMC Legal Intern Joseph Silver]
The first sale doctrine within American copyright and trademark law has been getting a lot of attention in recent months. A number of federal circuit courts have touched upon this important copyright principle, which says that when a consumer purchases a good on the legitimate marketplace, the law affords them the right to lend, resell and dispose of that item (along with a number of other related uses). However, the first sale doctrine, also known as the exhaustion doctrine, does not permit a purchaser to reproduce, publicly display or perform the work, all of which are exclusive rights held by the copyright holder. Absent a “fair use” defense for consumers, those rules are pretty steadfast. Still, the first sale doctrine is an important limitation on copyright, which allows consumers who have lawfully purchased copyrighted goods to choose how the particular copy they purchased is distributed. This much remains settled. Yet two issues have recently arisen that aren’t so cut-and-dry: whether the first sale doctrine applies to digital goods and whether it applies to goods manufactured internationally.
[Post authored by FMC communications intern Caroline Fox]
The New York Times recently published a short op-ed that explored one musician’s unsuccessful attempt at crowd fundraising for her album. Veteran recording artist Terre Roche signed up for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, popular crowdfunding platforms for creative projects. Roche and her new band were aiming to secure $21,000 in funding to produce their next album. Unlike some other success stories, however, this already established creator fell flat when it came to raising cash from fans for her project.
FMC is looking for one capable and whipsmart cookie to help us put on our next Summit in Washington, DC. Do you know someone based in DC who’s great at planning events and is looking for a temporary, full-time gig helping present a music/law/tech conference? Is that you? The job runs roughly from Sept 10 - Nov 24 and culminates in our 11th conference. All the details and application instructions are here. Rock on!
It’s only been three weeks since the launch, but our Summer of Love Campaign is in full swing! The staff at FMC has been working hard to push the word out, and we’ve already hit 15% of our goal of $30,000. A big shoutout to our “Hall of Famers” who have helped make this possible! Our Executive Director is so pumped that she’s offered to buy us treats if we can encourage you all to help us hit the 20% mark by next week (thanks Lissa!). read more
Joe Uehlein is a solo artist, the leader of the roots-rock band the U-Liners, and a political activist. Through his 40 years of band experience, Uehlein has played with Grammy-winner Dave Alvin, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Pete Seeger, Boots Riley, and Jill Sobule. We feel lucky that he’s been a fan and supporter of the Future of Music Coalition for years.
To kick of our Future of Music Coalition Summer of Love profile series, we sat down with Joe and asked him a few questions: read more
This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman.
“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.” Unless you’ve been living under a Marshall stack, chances are you heard these historic words from Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court, reaffirming President Obama’s controversial effort to bring all Americans into the health care system. Alongside the prospect of more affordable health care premiums and insurance companies that are unable to deny coverage to the sick, we at FMC are pleased the bill was largely upheld. Why? Because among the Americans that stand to benefit from the shiny new law are a group of folks we happen to care an awful lot about — musicians.
Better and more affordable access to health care for musicians is something we have championed for over a decade. In 2002, we released the first major study demonstrating that musicians lacked health coverage at a much higher rate than the rest of the US population. In 2010, while Washington was embroiled in a contentious debate over this issue, we again provided real data demonstrating how acute the problem is and what factors make it difficult for musicians to access coverage. Today, we continue to provide free information to artists about their health care options.
If you live in an area with a population larger than, say, twelve, you’ve likely run across someone wearing a pair of Beats headphones. And even if you haven’t, you may have stumbled across the marketing campaign, which includes prominent positioning in shows like “American Idol.” These “lifestyle” headphones (which are bass heavy and not all that great sounding) are the brainchild of superstar producer/label honcho Jimmy Iovine and hip-hop maestro Dr. Dre.
A recent series of blog posts about musicians, music, and income have found various writers claiming – each with a level of certainty – that musicians are making more money/less money today than in years past. These posts prompted us to write about the challenges in making assertions about changes in musicians’ income, based on what we’ve learned through the Artist Revenue Streams project.
If you follow our work, then you probably know that we think there’s a lot to be done to make today’s music marketplace more efficient. The growth of the internet as a global musical delivery device has strained our copyright architecture, likely necessitating new ways of doing business. Which is why you often hear talk about the difficulties of music licensing in today’s networked environment. read more
[This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
We’ve seen this movie before: large media company enters growing, now profitable music scene. Large media company buys up all the smaller regional operations it can get its hands on. Now that smaller companies are together in one happy music pool, large media company presents pool to advertisers and marketers. Large media company soon cashes out of the conglomerate it created at handsome profit, walking off into the sunset.
Dear electronic dance music community: this is the situation at your breakbeat, bass-filled, trancy, dubstep-doorstep. Your community, your music, your culture — one that has been dismissed by corporate America for over twenty years and relegated to underground basements, clubs, and warehouses — has suddenly become, popular. Really, really popular.
Of course, this is not news to you. You already know that superstar DJs Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Afrojack and the like now command million dollar fees and fuel an increasingly lucrative dance festival scene that spans from Brooklyn to Berlin. You’ve even heard the influence of the awkwardly-termed genre “EDM” creeping into top-40 playlists. What is news is who is suddenly paying attention: Wall Street.