Since 2001, FMC has organized six annual Policy Summits to address the critical issues at the intersection of music, law, technology and policy. After a fantastic event last October in Montreal - http://www.futureofmusic.org/events/summit06/ - we’re bringing it back to Washington, DC for our 7th Annual Policy Summit, which will take place at George Washington University’s Betts Theatre from September 17-18, 2007.
Join us for panels covering:
We’ll also do some special sessions on:
Check out the developing program details here
Paul Anthony CEO, Rumblefish Michael Bracy Policy Director, Future of Music Coalition Whitney Broussard Partner, Selverne, Mandelbaum & Mintz Bryan Calhoun Label Management Systems Rosemary Carroll Partner, Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP Brian Dear Founder, Eventful.com Corey Denis VP Digital Marketing, reapandsow Mike Dreese Co-founder and CEO, Newbury Comics Peter Gordon Founder, Thirsty Ear Records Jim Griffin CEO, Onehouse Peter Gutmann Member, Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice Dave Harrell The Layaways and blogger at digitalaudioinsider.com E. Michael Harrington Professor of Entertainment and Music Business, Belmont University Henry Harris President, Spiritco1 Christian internet radio Ariel Hyatt Founder, Ariel Publicity Robert Kaye Mayhem & Chaos Coordinator, MusicBrainz Jon Kertzer Senior Music Programmer, Zune Walter McDonough General Counsel, Future of Music Coalition Kembrew McLeod Author, documentary filmmaker, Professor, University of Iowa Patricia Polach Attorney, Bredhoff and Kaiser, Counsel for AFM Jeff Price CEO, Tune Core Ben Scott Policy Director, Free Press Dan Sheehy Director and Curator, Smithsonian Global Sound Rachel Segal Marketing and Artist Relations, MusicIP Ralph Simon Chairman, Mobile Entertainment Forum Atesh Sonneborn Associate Director, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Michael Taft Head of the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center Anastasia Tsioulcas Classical music columnist, Billboard Marcy Wagman Program Director, Music Industry, Drexel University Tim Westergren Chief Strategy Officer, Pandora
ACT NOW. Early Bird Registration Rates Expire on Thursday, August 16!
Regular Registration: $149 Student Registration: $89
Click here for secure online registration See all the registration options and student rates here
Scholarships for Working Musicians
Every year, FMC offers scholarships to make sure that musicians are not left out of the music/technology debate. Thanks to some generous contributions from foundations, technology companies, sponsors, and musician advocacy groups, 80 musicians are able to attend this Policy Summit for free.
As of today, more than half our scholarship opportunities have been awarded. If you’ve been meaning to apply, now is the time. Musicians: go here to apply.
If you are planning or even considering coming to this year’s Policy Summit, we suggest you book your hotel rooms now. September is very busy in DC and hotel rooms are getting scarce and expensive. FMC has secured some rooms at the Virginian Suites for $189/night plus tax which available only until August 22.
Here’s all the information on the Summit hotel and other places that are walking distance to Summit:
We’re looking for volunteers to assist in a variety of capacities, and 10 hours of volunteer time gets you into the Summit and all its jam-packed craziness for free!Details about volunteering
More on the website
Programming overview Confirmed panelists Suggested hotels Sponsorship opportunities Press credentialing Volunteering
Please plan to join us us this year for another spectacular event!
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts
October 5-7 | Montreal
October 3-7 | Montreal
Pearl Jam closed Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 5, 2007, but if you weren’t there you didn’t hear the whole show. AT&T, which had the exclusive rights to webcast Lollapalooza via its “Blue Room,” silenced a piece of video from its live webcast that featured anti-Bush lyrics.
During the song “Daughter,” Eddie Vedder sang “George Bush leave this world alone” to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” When he repeated the line again and then sang “George Bush find yourself another home” the sound on the webcast was muted, even though it’s clear that Vedder was singing.
AT&T admitted it had silenced the lyrics, but said it was a mistake by a monitor hired to edit out inappropriate language. But over the past five days, it became clear this was more than a “mistake.”
Fans of the Flaming Lips, John Butler Trio, Rage Against the Machine, and many other bands, reported similar instances of AT&T silencing political lyrics during other webcast events. Recently, a technician on one of the webcasts reported he was told to censor political comments.
Last Friday, faced with mounting evidence, AT&T admitted to silencing bands during other webcasts. Whether this can be attributed to a big corporate blunder or a blatant effort to censor speech, the incident is a cautionary tale that shows what can happen when one company has unfettered control over Internet content.
AT&T and other big telecoms have been pushing for several years to increase their control over Internet content. They want to create an Internet where they determine which websites are the most accessible. The Pearl Jam incident points to the crux of why this is dangerous.
If this kind of incident happens during a webcast of a concert, imagine what type of power AT&T or any other telecom might wield if they determined which websites you are able to effectively access? Would they degrade access to websites that feature political views they don’t agree with, or perhaps, ones that compete with their commercial interests? We don’t know and we don’t want to find out.
This is exactly why 726 musicians through FMC’s Rock the Net campaign and tens of thousands of other citizens have been pushing for “net neutrality.” Net neutrality means the web remains a level playing field, and prevents internet providers from speeding up or slowing down web content based on its source, ownership or destination.
See the evidence for yourself
Pearl Jam’s press release on the incident.
FMC’s Statement on Pearl Jam incident, including comparative footage.
Wired’s Eliot Van Buskirk has been covering the developing story.
AT&T Admits It Censored Other Bands Marguerite Reardon, CNET, August 13, 2007
Join FMC’s Rock the Net campaign for net neutrality.
Read FMC’s June 2006 Op-Ed on musicians and net neutrality.
As has been recounted in our newsletters over the last year, FMC has taken two separate groups of musicians to New Orleans to not only discuss activism, but to also put it into motion. In November 2006, and in March 2007, FMC organized “Musicians Bringing Musicians Home” benefit concerts at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, each of which raised much-needed funds for organizations like Sweet Home New Orleans, a coalition of non-profit organizations that helps find affordable housing in New Orleans and provides rental assistance for Katrina displaced musicians, Mardi Gras performers and other traditional New Orleans artists.
Unfortunately, the music and musicians that make New Orleans so unique remain in peril after Katrina, but musicians and activists in the city are unflagging in their efforts to revive the community. This recent article in the New York Times outlines some of the ongoing efforts, mostly undertaken by foundations and volunteers, to bring musicians back to the city.
If you’d like to support some homegrown efforts to help New Orleans musicians, then consider:
While FMC’s critiques of consolidated media tend to garner the most headlines, it’s important to remember our ongoing commitment to growing and protecting non-commercial media platforms.
The fight to establish a new class of Low Power non-commercial radio stations was the first issue that brought many of the FMC staff and board together, and now, seven long years later, we hope that Congress will finally lift the ban that they established back in 2000 that has blocked the FCC from issuing these licenses in urban areas.
Legislation is now being debated in both the House and the Senate that would allow the FCC to greatly expand LPFM service to larger markets, providing new opportunities for colleges, community groups and arts organizations to operate their own low-cost, low-power FM station. If this issue is of interest to you, please visit our friends at Prometheus Radio Project to learn how you can get involved.
On July 31, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing called “Ensuring Artists Fair Compensation: Updating the Performance Right and Platform Parity for the 21st Century”. Essentially, this was a hearing about the public performance right for sound recordings, or the lack thereof, in the United States.
As we’ve explained in past newsletters, testimony and fact sheets, while royalties for public performances for terrestrial radio play are distributed to songwriters and composers, this right does not extend to the performers, recording artists or the sound recording copyright owner (usually the record label).
The July 31 hearing opened with supportive statements from many of the committee members. Most of the members recognized that, in a world where consumers can access music from an ever-growing list of platforms and devices, old-fashioned distinctions and licensing exemptions for certain sectors of the radio marketplace just don’t make sense. Most members also underscored an important point: that the implementation of a performance right for performers should not negatively affect the performance royalties currently paid to songwriters and publishers.
The first witness to testify was Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyrights, US Copyright Office. During her testimony, Peters emphasized the Office’s longstanding support for the implementation of this right.
The hearing continued with testimony by Congressman Paul Hodes, singer Judy Collins, performer Sam Moore, and broadcaster Charles Warfield Jr. Of these witnesses, all were in favor of the public performance right, except for the broadcaster Charles Warfield, who continuously called it a “performance tax” - a term coined by the National Association of Broadcasters - and urged the committee to keep the system as is.
Broadcasters have long argued that airplay increases album sales, which leads to compensation for performers and record labels. However, the broadcasters’ argument is steadily losing relevance, and their exempt status more questionable when almost all digital services - including webcasts and satellite radio - do pay a performance royalty, and that the United States is one of the only countries in the developed world that does not recognize this right.
While the public performance right received widespread support during this hearing, expect the NAB to fight this fiercely. Congress has yet to introduce a bill, but one may come up in the fall session. FMC will continue to track this important issue and hold panel discussion about the public performance right during the Policy Summit.
Berman in Radio Royalty Push Brooks Boliek, Hollywood Reporter, August 1, 2007
Lopsided Case for Performers’ Royalties Made by House Subcommittee Scott Fulton, BetaNews, July 31, 2007
FMC Fact Sheet on Public Performance Right for Sound Recordings
FMC Letter to Senate Commerce Committee on Performance Rights, Oct 05
See Policy Summit schedule
The FCC is holding its fifth official public hearing on media ownership issues in Chicago on Thursday, September 20, 2007. These hearings are a part of the FCC’s ongoing proceedings on the regulations that govern radio, TV and newspaper ownership.
At the four previous hearings - in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Harrisburg, PA and Tampa, FL - the public has expressed their overwhelming opposition to further media consolidation. FMC’s Jenny Toomey was a witness at the hearing in Nashville, during which she testified about the negative impact of mid-1990s deregulation of commercial radio on the musician community, and urged the FCC to reject calls for further media deregulation.
Exact details about the Chicago hearing’s time and location have yet to be announced, but you’ll hear all about them in this newsletter. You can also visit the Free Press website where you can sign up to receive updates directly via email about this hearing.
Learn more about media ownership and why your voice makes a difference by watching this excellent piece by NOW.
FMC’s Media Ownership Fact Sheet
FMC’s 2006 study: False Premises, False Promises
FMC’s 2002 study: Radio Deregulation: Has it Served Citizens and Musicians?
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have questions.
Jenny Toomey Michael Bracy Walter McDonough Brian Zisk Kristin Thomson Jean Cook Justin Jouvenal Chhaya Kapadia Alex Maiolo
Donate to the Future of Music Coalition Secure online donations are accepted at any level at https://www.futureofmusic.org/donate.cfm