Here at FMC HQ, we’re getting our summer vacations in now before we start producing the awesomeness that will be Policy Summit 11. In keeping with vacation mode, we’ve got a quick (really!) newsletter to keep you current on all things FMC.
Thanks to those of you who made it to the Creative License Book Tour last month — and to co-authors Peter DiCola and Kembrew McLeod, thank you, too.
In case you didn’t know, Creative License is a new book on Duke University press that examines how U.S. copyright law has impacted the art of sampling from the golden age of hip-hop to the present day. The work focuses on the sample-heavy music of the 1980s and early 1990s, while examining where things stand now (and where they might be going).
Purchase Creative License at Amazon or your local independent bookseller.
The DC tour stop was especially fun, and not just because it was a home game. If you
weren’t able to attend, you can check out the webcast archive here.
Given all the changes we’ve seen in the past decade or so, it’s become important to get a better grasp of how musicians are getting paid in an evolving landscape for music. Some revenue streams might have slowed to a trickle, but there are new ways to make money that didn’t exist even a handful of years ago. What percentage of musicians’ income comes from each possible revenue source? What is the ratio among different sources, whether it’s royalties, money from gigs, t-shirt sales, or any of the 29 other meaningful revenue streams that FMC has identified?
These are the questions that prompted FMC’s Artist Revenue Streams (ARS) project. We’ve been busy with the “case studies” portion of the study, and are almost ready to launch the next phase. In the second stage, FMC will work with partners to launch a wide-scale online survey, where we hope thousands of US-based musicians will answer questions about their relevant revenue streams. We expect this stage to launch this year.
To showcase what we’ve done so far and describe where the project is heading, project co-directors Jean Cook and Kristin Thomson have been on the conference and event circuit. The first stop on the Spring ARS Tour was ReThink Music (Boston, April 27), followed by SF MusicTech Summit (May 9) and a pop-in at the SCAPRA convening in Washington, DC (May 16). If you missed any of these previews, don’t worry — we’ll continue to provide updates about our ARS work until the survey is complete.
Artist Revenue Streams Project
Speaking of artist revenue streams…Franz Nicolay (World/Inferno Friendship Society, Anti-Social Music, ex-Hold Steady) has a few words to say about the current state (and future of) music. Franz’s article initially appeared in InDigest, and we couldn’t resist bringing it into FutureBlog, too. “The Troubadour and the Patron” provides an insightful — and typically overlooked — vantage into the life and lineage of musicians. Franz takes the really long view and examines musicians’ place in society from centuries ago, arguing that the recording artist may have been a mere historical hiccup.
Check it out here.
The wonky world of telecommunications policy has been abuzz about the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. While it might not be obvious at first, this combo could have a big impact on musicians. Consider this: a merged AT&T + T-Mobile would control 43 percent of the mobile market. Factor in Verizon and Sprint, and you’d have just three companies with their hands in your pockets (on your phones, people). With the rise of app-tastic services like Pandora, MOG and Rhapsody, AT&T 2.0 would have a huge role in who gets to play in this environment, and for how much.
Papers have already been filed with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, but you can still make your voice heard. For a more detailed take on what’s at stake, check out this here blog post.
Say, remember that other merger from a while back? The one between the ticketing behemoth and the promotions and venue management giant? You may recall that FMC had been paying some attention to what the merged company — Live Nation Entertainment — might mean for the music community. We tend to think that re-energizing the live music space doesn’t so much depend on giant corporate mergers, but rather increased investment in local arts and performance spaces, access to technology and greater competition in the ticketing marketplace. But for any of that to be possible, you need enforceable rules to prevent big companies like LNE from taking total advantage.
That’s why we recently teamed up with our friends at Fractured Atlas to publish a handy guide to the merger, “Too Big to Fail.” The document also includes information on how those who feel they’ve been harmed by the merged company can inform the Department of Justice. This is important, because the conditions can only be enforced if the DOJ knows what’s actually happening out there.
Too Big to Fail
Seasons change, and sometimes so do our staff. Don’t worry — your friends at FMC aren’t going anywhere: they’re just moving into new roles.
Hannah Byam is coming back to a new position as Communications Associate. Many of you might know Hannah as our trusty events assistant who helped us with the last two Future of Music Policy Summits. In her new role, Hannah will be focusing on Summit 2011 marketing, providing general communications assistance and helping to coordinate our artist relations efforts. She will be officially coming on board in a few weeks.
Chris Naoum, who had been serving as FMC’s Policy Counsel, is now working on special projects for Bracy Tucker Brown & Valanzano. Chris will be concentrating on direct advocacy around noncommercial radio. We want to assure you that Chris is in no way leaving our field or community, and we look forward to working with him as he continues advancing the ball for public broadcasting and musicians.
Casey Rae-Hunter is now Deputy Director for FMC. Casey will continue to oversee the communications agenda, as well as managing the day-to-day operations of our policy shop. His new set of responsibilities will include engaging with FMC’s multiple constituencies in all kinds of exciting ways. This is a natural transition for Casey given his ongoing work as an ambassador for FMC.
Chhaya Kapadia is now FMC’s COO/Events Director. Chhaya will continue to plan FMC’s events, as well as oversee the organization’s finances, keep the website/CMS functional and handle assorted HR duties. Chhaya’s primary focus this summer - after climbing a glacier - will be producing our annual Policy Summit.
We’re also thrilled with the bevy of talented interns working for FMC this summer, including Google Policy Fellow Liz Allen, Legal Intern Adam Holofcener, Communications Intern Scott Oranburg and Intern to the Executive Director, Anna-Kaisa Kaila.
Who doesn’t need a snazzy new t-shirt to usher in the summer concert season? Show your friends how much you support FMC with our super-comfortable 100% cotton conversation-starter!
Get one here: http://futureofmusic.org/10th-anniversary-t-shirt
The Copyright Society of the USA’s Annual Meeting (June 5-7, Bolton Landing, NY)
CSUSA’s Annual Meeting brings together everyone who’s anyone in the world of copyright, and - for our lawyer friends - they’re also providing some of those all-important CLE credits. Topics will include: a keynote address by Maria Pallante, Acting Register of Copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office, a debate over sound recordings as works made for hire, an analysis of mass copyright infringement campaigns and many others.
For all the details and to register, check their website.
You can always contact us at suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org if you have questions.
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