Future of Music Coalition + Center for Media Justice
Monday, June 20, 2011
The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) — a grassroots media policy organization working to strengthen movements for racial justice, economic equity, and human rights — has teamed up with FMC — a national non-profit research, education and advocacy organization for musicians — to issue a pair of informational briefs regarding the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
AT&T is currently seeking government approval to buy T-Mobile, which would give one company nearly half of the wireless market in the United States. The briefs describe the negative impact the merger would have on innovation, creativity and speech, while providing creative communities a way to better understand and engage on the issue. read more
Our friends Ozomatli, known for their eclectic, genre-bending sound and outspoken approach to civic engagement and activism, recently shared their thoughts on the AT&T-T-Mobile merger. Ozomatli are an LA-based band currently serving as U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors and artist advisors to FMC. The band will also be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, June 25to play a can’t miss one-off show with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops at the Kennedy Center.read more
You may have heard about the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which would give the combined companies a 43 percent combined share of the mobile market. Were the deal to go through, AT&T and Verizon would control around 70 percent of the market for cell phone subscriptions. That’s a lot of power in not so many hands.
This merger is not just about phone service. Mobile handsets are fast becoming one of the main ways people connect to the internet, and this trend is only going to continue.
So why should musicians and music entrepreneurs care? Lots of reasons, actually. read more
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is currently embroiled in a legal battle with ATT over the nature of ringtone licensing. Last month (June 2009), ASCAP filed an opposition to ATT's motion for summary judgment on the question of whether ringtones can be considered public performances.
ASCAP claims that ringtones are public performances and that its songwriters and publisher members deserve a cut of the ATT's ringtone revenue. Many groups and individuals disagree.Hear that? Your cell phone is ringing -- and under copyright law, that might just be a public performance. read more
ATT’s slogan is "fewest dropped calls," but that may not apply to people who have anything bad to say about the company. Slashdot is reporting that ATT is reserving the right to cut off service to people that paint the company in a negative light:
"AT&T’s new Terms of Service give AT&T the right to suspend your account and all service "for conduct that AT&T believes"…"(c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." After cooperating with the government’s violations of privacy and liberties, I guess AT&T wants their fair share. AT&T users may want to think twice about commenting if they value their internet service." read more
The content monitor ATT hired to remove inappropriate language from the webcast of Pearl Jam’s Lollapalooza show did not edit out 20 instances of curse words during the webcast.
ATT claimed it had hired the content monitor to remove curse words and other less than family oriented material from its “Blue Room” webcasts, but the content monitor instead silenced Pearl Jam’s anti-Bush lyrics. The revelation casts doubt on what exactly the role of the content monitors was during the webcasts. read more
Washington – Last week AT&T admitted muting Pearl Jam’s political lyrics during its exclusive webcast of the band’s Lollapalooza show on Aug. 5. AT&T rightly apologized, said the silencing was a mistake by a content monitor, and claimed that the company "does not censor or edit performances." AT&T spokeswoman Tiffany Nels also told the Los Angeles Times that it uses the content monitors to block "excessive profanity." read more
The Internet we have grown to love may be in danger. A new concept is getting a lot of attention in the United States among an unlikely grouping of civil rights activists, consumer advocates, gun owners, Christian groups, technology businesses, politicians and — most importantly for the Future of Music Coalition, with whom I work — musicians. This concept, which has been called ‘open access’ in the past, ties to free speech issues, and when applied specifically to internet rules is usually referred to as ‘net neutrality’. read more