By now, you've probably heard all about the iPad and seen the pictures of Steve Jobs displaying his new "tablet" in a manner undoubtedly familiar to the late Charlton Heston. So far, reaction to the device has been mixed at best, with some people already lining up to take potshots at Apple's latest doohickey.
We still think it's pretty neat, mostly because we're curious about what it could mean for the music biz, which is still struggling to find an attractive replacement for physical product. And as long as whatever new gadget plays nice with independent and unaffiliated creators who want to join the digital party, we're cool. read more
For those of you who have been following Ticketmaster's attempt to join forces with Live Nation (and even those who haven't), today has brought some major developments.
On Monday, January 25, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it has placed some restrictions on Ticketmaster's proposed merger with Live Nation. Although it's too early to predict final outcomes, it's possible these conditions will have an impact on the entire live music ecosystem, from ticket sellers to venues to artists to concertgoers. read more
In 2006, OK Go’s video for “Here It Goes Again” — also affectionately known as “the treadmill video” — became a web sensation. By decade’s end, it had been viewed approximately 50 million times — no small feat for a homemade clip. Although the video made its biggest splash on sites like YouTube, many fans embedded it on their personal pages and social networks. At which point “Here It Goes Again” went viral, increasing the band’s exposure on a global scale and boosting the band’s record sales (and the bottom line of their major label, EMI). read more
For those of you who griped that now-defunct digital downloading platforms like MusicNet and PressPlay were too expensive — prices like these should be illegal! — the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals has taken a significant step towards validating your opinion.
A lot of this stuff is in pretty heady legalese, but here's what you should know about the issue. read more
This might seem a bit off the beaten path for some of our musician readers, but it's such a cool opportunity that we thought it deserved mention.
You're probably familiar with the idea of artists' retreats; maybe you picture bongos around a campfire and sharing the color of your aura. That's not what Blue Mountain Center is about (your aura is your own business). This is a practical artist retreat, where the focus is where it should be: an environment conducive to creative exploration.
The Blue Mountain Center is a working community of writers, artists, activists and musicians in the heart of Adirondacks, the largest state park in the continental US. As a part of our cultural commons, the Center exists to provide a peaceful and comfortable environment in which guests are able to work, free from the distractions and demands of normal daily life. read more
We're blown away by the responses we've gotten from our FCC Comments Tool, which helps musicians and indie labels file with the FCC in their historic net neutrality rulemaking proceeding. (The initial comments phase closed on Jan 14, but we're keeping the tool active through the reply comments period, which has a deadline of March 5.)
We're also really proud to have filed joint comments with a broad array of independent creator organizations who believe that the open internet is crucial to our ability to compete in a legitimate digital marketplace. read more
Ready for some cool legal history on the FCC's indecency policies? Well, maybe not cool, exactly. But definitely interesting.
As we've mentioned before, Future of Music Coalition has issued briefs in important court cases regarding the FCC's "vague and arbitrary" indecency policies, arguing that they have a chilling effect on creation and lead to broadcasters shying away from airing worthwhile content for fear of triggering massive fines. For instance, we've heard that many PBS affiliates were afraid to air the original version of Ken Burns' acclaimed documentary The War, for fear that it would result in a punitive response from the FCC. We believe that artists have a right to free speech and expression and that they actually benefit from exposure to challenging and at times even controversial art.
Like so many other individuals and organizations, Future of Music Coalition is saddened beyond words at the devastation visited upon Haiti by the recent earthquake. Events like the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina make us realize just how precarious our place on this planet is. But it also presents an opportunity for humanity to come together to help alleviate any amount of suffering that we possibly can. read more
Check out this article at Ars Technica about FMC's comments tool that helps musicians and fans tell the FCC how they use the open internet. Besides saying nice things about the tool itself (and noticing that it's not designed to elicit stock, form letter-style answers), the piece quotes R.E.M.'s testimony, which is all about how the open internet makes practically every aspect of communicating with fans easier and cheaper.
Reporter Nate Anderson reserves particular praise for Erin McKeown's submission. "The great virtue of McKeown's three-page comment," Anderson writes, "is the passion that infuses it; this is a working musician who plays 200 gigs a year and is absolutely dependent on the Internet to power her career."
But the real reason we created the comments tool is so YOU can share your own viewpoints with the FCC in their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Preserving an Open Internet. The deadline is Jan 14 (tomorrow!) so, if you wanna be part of the official record, you should get cracking.