In February 2014, 19 Recordings—a record label representing artists from the TV show “American Idol” like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood—sued Sony Music for allegedly withholding royalty payments totaling $7 million. In March of this year, U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Abrams issued a ruling allowing some of these claims to go to trial. The upshot is that, while some components of the case will move forward, the court decided that others don’t hold water. Even more recently, Sony swung back with allegations of fiduciary mismanagement at 19.
In July 2013, Future of Music Coalition launched the Money from Music Quizzes, four online questionnaires that were designed to test how much musicians knew about money and music, and the copyright laws, licenses and agreements that frequently determine who gets paid, and how much. Today, we are publishing a report that analyzes the results over the first 18 months.
FMC’s goals with this project were twofold. We hoped to:
(1) educate musicians about some common – but often misunderstood – copyright and revenue stream issues in a fun and challenging way read more
Commercial soft rock radio stations around the country frequently play Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” – a song written by Dolly Parton. Who receives public performance royalties for this consistent terrestrial airplay of the song?
A. Dolly Parton and Dolly’s publisher
B. The estate of Whitney Houston, the performer
C. The record label that released Whitney’s recording (Arista)
D. All of the above: (1) Dolly, (2) Dolly’s publisher, (3) Whitney’s estate and (4) Arista read more
“One thing is for sure,” declared an influential American critic and record industry analyst, Bob Lefsetz, in a recent post on the topic of streaming music. “One service will dominate, it’s where we’ll all go, because we want to share, we don’t want to be left out.”
Event hosted by the United States Copyright Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
My name is Casey Rae and I’m the VP of policy and education for Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based national nonprofit organization for musicians. Future of Music works in three areas: research, education and advocacy. We came together back in 2000, right around the time of the initial digital disruption. Over the last 14 years, we have analyzed and documented trends in the music sector, translated complex policy and legal issues for our musician and composer constituency, and produced original research on everything from artists’ access to healthcare to commercial radio consolidation to our most recent study on artist revenue streams. read more
A US-based band is recording an album of material they wrote, but wants one of the tracks to be a cover of The Rolling Stones’ song “Brown Sugar”, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The band sells all 500 vinyl copies of the album plus 500 downloads on iTunes to US customers. According to the current statutory rates, how much does this 4 minute, 30 second-long cover of “Brown Sugar” generate in mechanical royalties, based on these sales?
About a month ago, FMC launched a set of online quizzes. Ranging from “easy” to “expert”, these multiple choice quizzes were designed as a fun way to test musicians’ knowledge of common uses of copyrights and sound recordings, and to give us – as advocates and educators – a way to identify concepts and realities that are the most confusing.
In the last month, over 1500 quizzes have been completed. Based on 30 days of data, here are the questions that have proven most problematic for quiz takers: read more
Here’s a little background: Victoria Espinel is the chief officer of IPEC and serves the White House on matters of IP enforcement. In this capacity, she is tasked with coordinating the many federal agencies that work to prevent copyright infringement and counterfeiting. This covers everything from books, movies, and music to software, designer clothes andpotentially harmful consumer items. Espinel’s post at the White House blog provides a good overview of her work and purpose of the Joint Strategic Plan.
Here at FMC, the part of intellectual property we pay the most attention to is copyright.
True or false: Songs/compositions must be registered with the US Copyright Office before they can be released commercially.
How about this one: A classical composer’s music is streamed on Spotify. Her publishing company is a member of the Harry Fox Agency in the US. As the composer, what should she expect to receive in royalties when her compositions are streamed by user request on this interactive service?read more