[This post co-authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
August in DC is traditionally a slow month. Election seasons are even slower. This year seems a little different, at least concerning an issue that could directly impact musicians. Within a span of six weeks, members of the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle have introduced new legislation that aims to establish a more level playing field for radio royalties. read more
Whether on vinyl, cassette, CD or via digital download, income from the sale, license or performance of sound recordings has been a core part of many musicians’ income streams for decades. But there’s no doubt that income from sound recordings — perhaps more than any other — has experienced significant challenges and undergone serious changes in the past 10 to 15 years. read more
We were reading Hypebot the other day and came across some encouraging info about SoudExchange — the nonprofit organiztion that collects and distributes royalties for digital public performances (think webcasts, Pandora, satellite radio). We love it when more artists get paid, so we were pretty psyched to read about the 17 percent increase in distributed royalties. read more
Sirius XM Radio set off a flurry of complaints from trade groups and labor unions late last month. It was trying to bypass the standard method of paying for digital streams — through a royalty clearinghouse called SoundExchange — and negotiate directly with record labels.
Sirius’s move was only the latest example of a gradual shift in the financial infrastructure of music. Many companies, from major labels to providers of background music, have been trying to reduce costs and gain control by circumventing the large organizations that have historically processed licenses and royalties. read more
Recording artists and indie labels: there’s a movement afoot to change the way that you would receive your digital public performance royalties, and it’s not a good one, especially for recording artists.
Back in August, we blogged about the news that Sirius/XM was considering doing a direct licensing deal, expressing our serious displeasure with the move.
In recent days, the artist community — including AFTRA, AFM, The Recording Academy,A2IM and SoundExchange — has been broadcasting the message to their members about the negative consequences of direct licensing deals for digital performance royalties. We applaud our artist colleagues for urging their members signed to indie labels (or self-released artists) to not accept these direct licensing deals.
We here at FMC wanted to join in the chorus and explain to musicians and labels why the current statutory licensing structure is better for all stakeholders.
Last weekend, our man Alex Maiolo was at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago for three days of skinny jeans, warm beer and music. But it wasn’t all R&R: Alex was there to talk to musicians and managers about FMC’s Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT). From July 16-18, Alex was there hepping the hepcats to their health insurance options and how the new health care reforms might impact musicians. If you were there, we hope you got to say hello!
Here’s some more of what’s been happening in the wide world of music-tech-policy-law… read more
Here at FMC, we’re all about helping artists get a leg up on their careers. But with so many aspects of the music biz in flux, it’s tough to know where to start. Our friends at SoundExchange — the nonprofit that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to artists and labels — have come up with a handy checklist will help you on your way.