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.
Achtung, musicians and indie labels! The clock is ticking to tell the FCC how you use the open internet in your lives and careers!
You have an incredible opportunity to assist the FCC in crafting smart policy that will ensure that the internet remains open and accessible to all. This page will tell you everything you need to know about the FCC proceeding. We've even designed a comments tool that will guide you through the process and automatically file with the Commission. If only booking tours were that simple!
You'll be in great company. Acts like R.E.M., Kronos Quartet, Erin McKeown, Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady and more have already filed comments. Get your inspiration right here!
The comments phase of this proceeding closes on Thursday, January 14, so don't dawdle. And please pass the word on to your peers!
A short while ago we told you about the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on net neutrality. You may recall that we were thrilled to see the Commission was taking a proactive steps to ensure that the internet remains open and accessible to all. Even more encouraging was the fact that the FCC would be soliciting comments from stakeholders and the public, which of course includes musicians and fans. read more
Future of Music Coalition is once again curating a number of conversations at the annual Association of Performing Arts Presenters conference in New York City, January 8-12, 2010. Join us for sessions on the issues at the intersection of arts, technology and law; media, copyright and technology; and health insurance for creators.
To attend these sessions you need to be registered for the Arts Presenters conference. Click here for registration details. If you are an artist and would like to attend these sessions only and will not go to the APAP conference, email us at nicole[at]futureofmusic[dot]org read more
The latest issue of SPIN Magazine is a year-end roundup. Among the "best of" lists and what-have-you is an excellent article about musicians and health insurance, which they're calling the "Story of the Year." read more