Next week, the FMC crew will be heading to Minneapolis, MN for the National Conference on Media Reform, which takes place June 6-8. On Friday, June 6 at 3PM, FMC’s Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz will join Board Secretary Bryan Calhoun, Thirsty Ear Recordings founder Peter Gordon and musician/intellectual property attorney John P. Strohm on a panel entitled “In the Mix: Understanding New Music Services And The Bottom Line.” The discussion will focus on current and emerging digital models for accessing music, with a breakdown on how they work and who gets paid.
We’ll also be co-hosting a cocktail party with the Media and Democracy Coalition and the Media Consortium on Friday, June 6, from 7PM-9PM. The party serves as a teaser for FMC’s upcoming Rock the Net: Musicians for Net Neutrality CD, being released in July on Thirsty Ear. The benefit CD features tracks by Wilco, Aimee Mann, They Might Be Giants, Bright Eyes, The Wrens, Portastatic and more. NCMR attendees should look through their goodie bags for a digital download card that will let them purchase the full album online for at a reduced price.
Facebook invite for cocktail party
Pitchfork article on Rock the Net CD
There have been other net neutrality-related happenings, too.
On April 16, FMC co-founder and General Counsel Walter McDonough was part of a net neutrality panel at Montréal’s annual ADISQ conference - a non-profit organization that deals with the Québec music industry.
FMC Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz recently submitted an opinion piece to Billboard that looks at the issue of net neutrality from a creator’s perspective. In it, Ann explains how the open internet is absolutely necessary for creativity and commerce to flourish online. The article appeared in the May 24, 2008 print edition of the magazine, but we’ve also posted it on our blog.
On May 24, Baltimore-area singer-songwriter Jordan Page played a packed show at the Ram’s Head in Baltimore in support of FMC’s Rock the Net campaign. Jordan is no stranger to media activism — he also blogs for our friends at Free Press. As an independent musician who depends on the web to do business and spread his message of positive social change, Jordan understands that an open internet is crucial to making connections. We’re glad he’s doing his part to spread the word about such an important issue.
You can also make your next gig a Rock the Net event. Contact FMC Communications Director Casey Rae-Hunter at casey [at] futureofmusic [dot] org to find out how. Visit www.futureofmusic.org/rockthenet/ to sign up for the campaign and log your shows.
Avant-hip-hop mastermind DJ Spooky (who appears on our upcoming Rock the Net CD) will be showcasing Rock the Net materials at an upcoming music festival in New York City. The 5th anual Loving Day event celebrates the 41st anniversary of Loving v. Virginia - the Supreme Court case that legalized interracial relationships in the United States. The free, all-ages event takes place from 3PM-7PM at Solar 1: East River Waterfront at East 23rd St. in Manhattan, NYC. Click here for a list of all the Loving Day celebrations, with info on how to RSVP to the NYC event.
Check out this CMJ article about net neutrality that features Spooky and FMC’s Policy Director Michael Bracy.
On the policy front, there was new net neutrality legislation introduced in the House Judiciary Committee (OK Go’s Damian Kulash restified on the issue before the same committee on March 11, 2008). Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (R-CA) introduced the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008,” which aims to remedy anti-competitive and discriminatory practices by broadband service providers. It joins pending legislation in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that sets broad guidelines for protecting the open internet, and compels the FCC to hold hearings, gather public opinion and report its findings back to Congress. Read our recent blog post to learn about the differences between these two bills.
FMC blog post on net neutrality legislation
Not long ago, FMC commissioned acclaimed hip-hop journalist Eric K. Arnold (whose work has appeared in The Source, XXL, Vibe and SF Weekly) to write an article examining the impact of media consolidation on the urban radio format. He turned in a doozy. “The Effects of Media Consolidation on Urban Radio” paints a grim picture of the loss of localism and diversity on the hip-hop dial, and is sure to make waves in the hip-hop community. We’ve been publishing it in installments on our blog, but the full piece can be found the main FMC site:
“The Effects of Media Consolidation on Urban Radio”
FMC recently updated our orphan works fact sheet, which puts in plain language an issue that can get a little complicated. Orphan works are those creations whose copyright owner cannot be located or identified, which historically has meant that they can’t be used in new endeavors. In April 2008, new legislation was introduced in Congress that would make it easier to use orphan works, provided the new user conducts a reasonable search to locate the copyright owner. The bill balances the interests of copyright owners and new users, but it totally fails to consider the interests of the original creators.
Still confused? This blog post should help sort things out: http://futureofmusiccoalition.blogspot.com/2008/05/orphan-works-and-creators-whats-deal.html
Orphan Works Fact Sheet
All of our fact sheets
In April, we told you about a pair of Raleigh, NC concerts that were organized in tribute to Drew Glackin, a talented multi-instrumentalist and member of alt-country act The Silos, who passed away last January from a preventable illness. Like so many musicians, Drew lacked health insurance. His friends wanted to honor his memory and also help similar tragedies from occurring, so they organized two shows on May 3 and 4. Proceeds went to Drew’s family and FMC’s HINT (Health Insurance Navigation Tool), which helps musicians understand their health insurance options. The events raised more than $3,000, and showed how a community can come together to honor one of its own.
Another Drew Glackin memorial show takes place on June 5 at True Endeavors in Madison, Wisconsin. The concert, which will also benefits HINT, features Drew’s band The Silos, with special guests Weinland. Here’s what their website has to say about it:
"Drew Glackin was a helluva guy. He was an incredible musician and a friend to all he met. His death is a damning indictment of our failed health care system, in that Drew did not have health insurance. Like many other musicians who are vulnerable in this way, Drew avoided going to the doctor for fear of what he’d find out. Simply put, if Drew had health insurance, he’d most likely be alive today." That’s why we created HINT - to help musicians understand their options, in the hopes they take the appropriate steps to get coverage.
Visit the HINT website to schedule an appointment to talk with our health insurance experts. It’s free. http://www.futureofmusic.org/hint/index.cfm
Help us help musicians understand their health insurance options by donating to HINT:
Last month, we hired our brand new Operations Coordinator, Nicole Duffey, who helps us keep the trains running on time here at FMC headquarters. She replaces Chhaya Kapadia, who has transitioned into her new role as FMC’s first-ever Events Organizer.
Nicole comes from a theater background, and has managed house operations, prop shops, box offices and more. She also was involved with an Atlanta-based independent record label before joining FMC. Suffice it to say, we’re very happy to have her.
FMC is co-sponsoring and appearing at an Artomatic panel on June 12. Education Director Kristin Thomson will join Erik Gilbert (Vice President Content, IODA), Amy Schriefer (Product Manager, NPR Music), Chris MacDonald (indiefeed.com) and musician Greg Beshers for “Distributing and Promoting Your Music on the Internet,” an informative discussion that will highlight ways to do just that.
Kristin will also be taking part in two other events in Philadelphia that week. On Monday, June 9, she’ll be joining Drexel University’s Marcy Rauer Wagman for “Copyright for the Working Musician in a Digital Age” at the Coral Street Arts House starting at 6:00 PM. Free! If you’re a Facebook user, RSVP and details can be found here:
On Wednesday, June 11, she’ll be one of the presenters at an O’Reilly Ignite event, where she’ll have 5 minutes and 20 slides rotating every 15 seconds to ignite a conversation. Come on down and see if she can do it. Johnny Brenda’s. Free!
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have any questions.
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