Good news. The planning for our Fourth
Annual Policy Summit is going very, very well. We have nearly all
the panelists confirmed, sponsors lined up, a big, swanky auditorium
to hold everyone, and lots to discuss – now all we need is YOU
to join us.
The FMC Policy Summit will be held May 2 and 3, 2004 at George Washington
University’s Lisner Auditorium in Washington, DC. We continue
to bring the best and brightest people working in music and technology
together to discuss the most critical issues impacting our community
and reframe these complicated questions to benefit musicians and citizens.
LATEST SPEAKER/PANELIST ADDITIONS
Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser
Tina Weymouth & Chris Frantz from Talking Heads
Cary Sherman from the RIAA
Pat Irwin from the B-52’s
Will Poole from Microsoft
Holmes Wilson from Downhillbattle.org
John Flansburgh from They Might be Giants
Chris Amenita from ASCAP
AFM Organizer Michael Muniz
Pat Thetic from Anti-Flag
Tom Hazlett from the Manhattan Institute
Neil Glazer from Madison House/SCI Ticketing
Wayne Crews from Cato Institute
Online registration open now!
SUMMIT SPONSORS (to date)
ASCAP * Microsoft * Center for the Public Domain * BMI * AFTRA * AFM
CD Baby * Newbury Comics * P2P United * Public Knowledge
Keynote Speeches from
Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser
SIXTY-FIVE PANELISTS already confirmed
…including Danny Goldberg (Chairman and CEO, Artemis Records), Suzanne
Vega, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (Talking Heads), William Terry
Fisher (Professor of Law, Harvard Law School), John Flansburgh (They
Might be Giants), Seth Hurwitz (IMP/9:30 Club), Neil Glazer (SCI Ticketing),
Barton Herbison (Nashville Songwriters Association), Peter Jenner (Sincere
Management), Jim Griffin (Cherry Lane Digital), Pat Thetic (Anti-Flag/Punk
Voter), Dave Frey (Cheap Trick’s manager), Jessica Litman (Professor
of Law, Wayne State), Mike Dreese (Newbury Comics), Kim Coletta (Desoto
Records and band Jawbox), Gigi Sohn (President, Public Knowledge), Ann
Chaitovitz (Director of Sound Recordings, AFTRA), Thomas Frank (Author
and Editor, The Baffler), Ron Gertz (President and CEO, Music Reports),
John Nichols (Writer, The Nation), Tim Quirk (Executive Editor, Music,
Real Networks and band Too Much Joy), John Simson (Executive Director,
SoundExchange), Koleman Strumpf (Department of Economics, UNC), Siva
Vaidhyanathan (NYU)…to name a few.
One of the best features of every FMC Summit is the ability to anticipate
emerging trends and to build panels around issues that soon move from
the margins to the center of discussion.
Sunday’s schedule will focus on artists’ interests, giving
working musicians an opportunity to learn more about the changing environment.
Panel topics will cover such issues as: treating your band as a business;
musicians organizing for political change; and, music distribution in
the digital environment.
Monday’s panels take on a more "big picture" look at
things on topics like: the state of the music/tech industry; digital
distribution/digital music stores; the effect of corporate consolidation
in touring, ticketing, major labels, and media on musicians; alternative
compensation systems; the mash-up revolution; and the policy outlook
for the music/tech community.
We invite you to join us at this event, or tell others that might be
interested. It really is a great way for folks to figure out what’s
going on in the music/technology/policy environment, and to challenge
conventional wisdom by injecting the debate with feedback from a fresh perspective.
More detail about the panel topics here.
Easy Online Registration
Registration for the event is $149 for both days or $99 for one day.
There are also discounted rates for students of $99 for two days or
$66 for one day. Go
here to our secure page.
Scholarships for Working Musicians Going Fast
One of the unique aspects of the Summit is its determination to involve
artists, both as performers and as active policy participants. Because
of contributions from foundations, corporations and individuals, hundreds
of artists are able to attend the Summit at no charge.
We’ve had over 200 musicians apply already, so spaces are going
fast. We urge all working musicians to join us for this event. Go
here to fill out an application.
Need a Hotel?
We’ve reserved a block of 40 rooms at the George Washington University
Inn at the discounted rate of $156. This block rate expires on Friday,
April 9 so make your reservations today!
More about hotel and hostel options here.
Plan to join us for this unique event. Go here
to access registration, scholarships, press credentialing, a schedule,
list of panelists, hotel recommendations and info about Lisner.
On March 15, FMC and the Pew Internet & American Life Project launched
a comprehensive online survey designed to gauge musicians’ opinions
about the internet and how it affects the way they create, promote and
distribute music. The online survey asks musicians a variety of questions
about music, technology, copyright, peer-to-peer filesharing, emerging
best practices, and the public domain.
So far survey participation has been good, but we want as many musicians,
songwriters and performers to complete the online questionnaire as possible.
As planned, we will be taking the survey offline this coming Monday,
April 15 so if you haven’t filled it out yet, please do so now.
Go to http://websurveyor.net/wsb.dll/11719/Music.htm
by April 15 to participate. It will take about 20 minutes of your time
We’d like to thank our partners CD Baby, Just Plain Folks, Nashville
Songwriters Association, AFTRA, AFM, ASCAP and Garageband.com for their
support of this research project, and look forward to sharing the results
with those who have the most at stake in the ongoing debate.
In the wake of Janet Jackson’s Superbowl “revelation”
and a sudden increased awareness of “shock jock” programs,
members of Congress have been attempting to establish a moral high ground
by crafting legislation that would increase the penalties for airing
“indecent” material on the broadcast radio and TV waves.
In February, the “Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004”
was introduced in both the House and Senate. While these bills would
result in stiffer financial penalties, they could also have significant
chilling effects on artistic freedom.
The fundamental problem with these bills is an unprecedented shift in
the burden of responsibility for the broadcast of indecent material
from the broadcast licensee (ie, the owner of the radio or TV station)
to the performer or on-air announcer.
According to AFTRA’s analysis, key provisions of this legislation
increase the existing fines on individual performers or announcers from
$11,000 to $500,000 for an initial indecency — eliminating the current
requirement that a warning be issued. This amount is almost double the
fine that can be levied against a corporation that holds a broadcast
license ($275,000). Fines could even be imposed on performers or announcers
for taped rather than live material, which the licensee makes the decision
Given the fact that the Federal Communications Commission has never
fined an individual performer or announcer, this legislation codifies
a striking shift away from the FCC’s long-standing policy that holds
that the broadcast licensee is responsible for programming decisions.
These bills could also have a troubling impact on free speech and expression.
Marvin Johnson, an ACLU legislative counsel, said "the very notion
(of the legislation) runs counter to everything prescribed in the First
Amendment. The vagueness of the language will lead broadcasters and
individuals to stifle their remarks and remain silent rather than run
the risk of facing an FCC fine.”
The bill has already been passed in the House, and word from people
on Capitol Hill is that a similar bill is on a fast track in the Senate,
where it is likely to face some amendment battles. If you are concerned
about the passage of this bill and its effect on the airwaves and on
artistic creativity in general, visit
this site to send letters to the US Senate
John Nichols from The Nation/Free Press has written an excellent commentary
on this issue:
An Indecent Proposal
By John Nichols
Nation, March 14, 2004
On March 30, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) introduced HR 4069, the Media
Ownership Reform Act of 2004 in an effort to reduce media concentration
and ensure broadcasters meet their public interest requirements.
"The current state of today’s media threatens the ability of our
democracy to function because it does not allow for the wide dissemination
of information from diverse sources and viewpoints, thereby shrinking
the marketplace of ideas," said Hinchey in his press
If passed, this bill would provide significant remedies to media consolidation
It would: strike down the FCC’s June 2, 2003 decision in its entirety
(currently suspended because of the Prometheus v FCC case before the
Third Circuit); restore the Fairness Doctrine; roll back to 35 percent
the portion of the national audience that a single party may reach through
broadcast television ownership; prevent any single entity from owning
more than five percent of the total number of AM and FM broadcast radio
stations nationally, in addition to setting reasonable limits on the
percentage of radio stations one company can control in a single market;
reform the FCC practices through which the commission has gradually
weakened ownership rules; require broadcast licensees to report how
they are serving the public interest; and break up the monopolization
of programming production and distribution.
Currently this bill has been referred to the House Commerce Committee.
More on its progress as things develop.
Somewhere on Capitol Hill, a staffer is getting an extra star for coming
up with this bill’s title and acronym.
Under the Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation
Act (PIRATE Act), introduced by Senators Hatch (R-UT) and Leahy (D-VT),
federal law enforcers at the Justice Department would get more authority
to prosecute people who illegally trade songs and other copyrighted
material on the Internet. Under current law, the department only can
prosecute criminal offenses.
Since being introduced on March 26, the bill has been referred to Senate
Judiciary Committee. We’ll let you know if it picks up steam.
Congress Moves to Criminalize P2P
Two senators introduce legislation that would impose jail time for sharing
as little as one file, while the House may consider another that would
lower the bar to take people to court. Looks like entertainment lobbyists
are winning their war against peer-to-peer networks.
By Xeni Jardin
March 26, 2004
‘Pirate’ Bill Aims Law at Song Swappers
by David McGuire
Washington Post, March 26, 2004
In addition, the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act (HR 4077) made
its way out of the House Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee last
week. The bill would punish file swappers with up to three years in
jail for first offenses, and up to six for repeat offenses. It also
intends to make a felony out of distributing "pre-release"
material. If passed, this bill could have negative consequences for
artists, as a label could claim that they own various material, or keep
an album in the can indefinitely, and turn any subsequent distribution
of this material from a contractual dispute into a felony charge. The
bill has not been formally introduced yet but we will keep an eye on it.
House panel approves copyright bill
A House of Representatives panel has approved a sweeping new copyright
bill that would boost penalties for peer-to-peer piracy and increase
federal police powers against Internet copyright infringement.
By Declan McCullagh
March 31, 2004
AFTRA continues its campaign to gather support for SB 1034, a bill that
is pending in the California State Assembly that addresses record label
here to zap letters to the CA Assembly!
Although proper accounting between artists and record companies should
be above reproach, revelations have shown that some record label accounting
practices have routinely deprived royalty artists of the compensation
that they are entitled to receive under their recording contracts. Under
the current structure, there is no established penalty for those record
companies who report inaccurately, creating a disincentive for the companies
to report fully and, in essence, rewarding some companies for their
California State Senator Kevin Murray has recognized the importance
of holding record companies accountable with SB 1034, which passed the
full California State Senate in May 2003 and is now pending in the California
This Bill makes a record company’s duty to account accurately for royalties
earned under a recording contract a fiduciary duty.
Passage of this bill would give artists the assurance they deserve and
make record labels accountable when they fail to comply with their contractual
royalty obligations. If you are concerned about proper major label accounting
practices, click on http://www.rightsforrecordingartists.com
to learn more and to e-mail letters to the CA Assembly.
On March 29, Koleman Strumpf (UNC) and Felix Oberhauser (Harvard) released
a report that found that illegal peer-to-peer filesharing has had little
effect on CD sales.
"We find that file sharing has no statistically significant effect
on purchases of the average album in our sample,” states the report.
“Moreover, the estimates are of rather modest size when compared
to the drastic reduction in sales in the music industry. At most, file
sharing can explain a tiny fraction of this decline.”
The report http://www.unc.edu/~cigar/papers/FileSharing_March2004.pdf
has generated a flurry of press, as well as formal responses from the
RIAA and the IPFI, which question both the methodology and the conclusions.
We are excited that Professor Strumpf will be joining us at the FMC
Policy Summit on Sunday, May 2, where the paper’s results will
surely be a topic of discussion.
A Heretical View of File Sharing
What if the music industry is wrong, and file sharing is not hurting
record sales? A new report suggests just that.
By John Schwartz
York Times, April 5, 2004
Maybe the Music’s Just Lousy?
The recording industry insists that CD sales are off because everyone’s
online stealing the music. Now a study comes along saying that piracy
has little, if anything, to do with stagnant sales.
March 31, 2004
Study: File-Sharing No Threat to Music Sales
By David McGuire
Washington Post, March 29, 2004
Kazaa and co ‘not cause of music biz woes’, say Profs
By Tony Smith
Register (UK), March 29, 2004
As usual, there’s loads of reading in the newsstream. Here
are some of our favorites:
Microsoft’s iPod killer?
Microsoft is expected to unveil copy-protection software this summer
that will for the first time give portable digital music players access
to tunes rented via all-you-can-eat subscription services—a development
that some industry executives believe will shake up the online music
By John Borland
News.com, April 2, 2004
Court Sides with Music Swappers
A Canadian federal court decision denied a motion by CRIA to disclose
the identities ISP subscribers who allegedly shared copyrighted files
on Kazaa. Most importantly, the court also held that sharing files using
a P2P service is apparently legal in Canada - one reason being that
having facilities "that allow copying does not amount to authorizing
and Mail, March 31, 2004
Two veterans of the Internet wars discuss the raging battle over who
should control our entertainment
By Maureen Ryan
Tribune, March 28, 2004
You’ve got sales
The record industry is slowly embracing the Internet’s innovative —
and lucrative — potential
By Greg Kot
Tribune, March 28, 2004
Wireless Deals Focus on Tunes
Licensing agreements that will enable carriers to sell ring tunes to
consumers or third-party distributors are evolving along with the expansion
of the wireless music market.
March 27, 2004
Korn Takes Aim at Music ‘Monopolies’
March 25, 2004
Jam the Vote: A New Group Aims to Turn Deadheads Into Voters
by Tommy Hallissey
Village Voice, March 15, 2004
Plus reports from South by Southwest, more RIAA lawsuits, Madonna’s
lawsuit against Warner Bros, reviews of Lawrence Lessig’s new
book “Free Culture”, and more.
Jenny has moved. The FMC office has moved. Our phone and internet have
moved. However, because of our respect for your time gentle FMC fan,
we have kept the same number and the same email that you know and love.
To do this correctly Jenny has weathered a drought of both phone and
internet. She will be catching up on missed work up to the date of the
conference. PS: She also went to France to participate in Forum 21.
Walter McDonough moderated the Music Industry Roundtable at SXSW along
with Mark Cuban, Jay Broberg, Jeff McClusky and Don Van Cleave.
Kristin dashed up to NYC last weekend to participate on a panel at the
Global Entertainment Music Summit, and then dashed back to do more organizing
for this year’s very exciting Policy Summit. She hopes to see
everyone in person in a few weeks!
Michael Bracy has been busily confirming speakers and panelists for
the upcoming Policy Summit and is confident that this year’s event will
be the best summit yet. He’s also watching Capitol Hill for action on
LPFM, the FCC for an upcoming Notice of Inquiry on localism in media
and outside the Beltway for a number of other potential developments…
Brian’s been swamped working on the Summit. It’s not too late to sponsor,
so please feel free to drop him a note at zisk [at] well [dot] com if you or your
company might think they are interested. He took a week away in South
Carolina where he checked out a bunch of local music, and some incredible
cuisine. In addition, since his wife’s been so successful recently in
recovering unpaid royalties due in a kinder, gentler manner, they’ve
teamed up to offer this service to additional musicians who could use
their help. He’s very excited about the Summit, and is looking forward
to seeing as many of you there as possible.
Peter DiCola is somewhere in the sub-basement labyrinths of the library
at the University of Michigan Law School. We expect him to emerge in
time for the FMC conference the first week of May.
If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions please send an
email to suggestions [at] futureofmusic [dot] org,
and let us know how we’re doing.
Thanks for your support and see you next time.